I would enthusiastically support Biden if he:
1) Promised to serve a single term and then enthusiastically supported a young and progressive VP's 2024 campaign.
2) Supported the Green New Deal.
3) Walked back his statement opposing police reform.
4) Apologized for being a creeper in the past and figured out a way to have himself held accountable if it were to happen in the future.
None of this will happen, so Hawkins 2020! (Voting Green will not impact my state because it has been 100% Republican as far as presidential politics go aside from voting for Clinton the "Democrat" in his 1996 landslide victory.
I am completely fed up with the system that forces many people to choose which elderly White perv to vote for (any finger pointing over that sort of thing during the Debates will make for entertaining TV but blech). At least Biden doesn't have neurosyphilis. I really hope that both candidates release medical records from independent doctors (I don't trust Trump's guy one bit). Again, that will not happen but one can dream.
The enthusiasm gap is going to sink Biden because I have never met a die-hard Biden supporter. Campaigning as the lesser evil/serving as the "cool" Black guy's VP is not going to get him anywhere vs. Trump's jingoistic hordes plus the Doomers who will not vote.
Also, it must be remembered that Trump went out of his way to frame the COVID checks as a personal gift from him. I had to get a physical check because the IRS didn't retain my bank information for some reason and I really bristled at seeing his name on it. Oh, and I fear that his obvious ploy to scare people away from the polls will work to enough of an extent to secure his victory.
If I lived in one of the tiny minority of states that actually end up deciding elections, I would probably hold my nose and vote for Biden just because Trump continues to destroy the US with his "leadership" and I would like to see RBG have the ability to step down from the Supreme Court (only if she wanted or had to) without being replaced by another morally bankrupt Trump puppet. It is sickening that Roberts has become aligned with the liberal wing of the SC because Trump has shifted it much farther to the right.
Unrelated, but I am not big on the solstice this year (apologies to Ruinenlust) because my state is suffering wildfires that are spreading in desert areas that will not recover during a human timespan. Alpine forests are burning as well but they are comparatively resilient. Oh, and it grinds my gears that firefighting responses are being directed to protect soulless urban sprawl at the expense of irreplaceable wildlands. Houses can be rebuilt. Sonoran desert cannot. Fracking invasive old world grass is making all of this worse and two of my favorite places on Earth are burning up.
I like Biden to a degree, but I wouldn’t exactly say I support him. However, if I were old enough to vote, I’d definitely vote for him over Trump. At the beginning of the primaries, I supported Buttigieg, but slowly I became more and more progressive. The straw that broke the camels back for me was when I learnt that the Buttigieg wine cave fundraiser was funded by a fossil fuel exec. Once I heard this, I finally snapped and switched allegiances to Bernie. While he may be a bit further to the left than I am, and he is a left-wing populist (I am anti-populist, as I don’t think that antagonizing the elite will get us anywhere), and I find his health care okay but not great (My ideal health care system would have a universal healthcare system as the default, but allow supplemental private insurance, similar to the NHS), but I loved his $16.3 Trillion climate plan, and I liked his socioeconomic stances.
I think for me to support Biden more enthusiastically, and to get more hardline Progressive votes, he needs to do the following:
Back the Green New Deal in its entirety
Take parts of Bernie’s $16.3 Trillion climate plan
Support defunding the police and the military, and address police reform
Support the decriminalization (not legalization per se, as that will upset the moderates) of cannabis
Choose a Progressive woman of color as his VP (I’d suggest Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, or Stacey Abrams). I think that only 2 of those 3 criteria for the VP will be necessary, but I’d recommend all 3 if possible.
Formerly apologize for his support of the Iraq War
Acknowledge and apologize for his assault of Tara Reade and any others, and work for reparations.
Promise to leave Afghanistan, but in a way that still protects our allies. We should work on a peace plan, but make sure to find a way to protect our allies and their rights, perhaps by splitting Afghanistan into a Taliban-controlled zone and a “Free zone”.
Support alter-globalization foreign policy
Be more supportive of a two-state solution, including backing a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem (real East Jerusalem, not just Abu Dis), denouncing Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, denouncing the BDS movements, denouncing both Anti-Semitic and Islamophobia, and denouncing both Netanyahu’s government in Israel and the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.
Stop or slow the production of Nukes
Support the BLM movement, while also denouncing looting and violence.
Support the popular uprisings and freedom movements in Venezuela (and legitimize the claim of Juan Guaido), Hong Kong, Xinjiang (aka East Turkestan), Catalonia, Kurdistan, Kashmir, and more.
Support the EU and oppose Brexit and Euroskepticism
I would of course vote Biden if I could, but I do wish we had a better candidate. I thinks he’s good enough, and I feel honestly kind-of betrayed by the “Never Biden”s. I agree that Biden needs to earn our votes, but ultimately the alternative is worse, and until we get proportional representation and a multi-party state (both of which I desperately want), voting for Howie Hawkins is essentially throwing your vote away. I get that you do not want to vote for the lesser of two evils (though Biden’s being evil is debatable; I’d just consider him a lesser good or an okay), but ultimately Biden is level-headed, even if his policy isn’t the best (albeit still okay), whereas Trump is neither sane nor good when it comes to his policy, which is such a dangerous position that we need to turn out and vote for Biden, though he still must try to earn our vote. In closing, Biden’s gotta try to appeal more to us, but we still should support him, as the alternative is terrible.
I thought Bernie Sanders was the single best chance America has ever had for real change, change that would at least bring it closer to parity with the rest of the so-called first world. When the Democrats spurned Sanders in favour of Biden (with the subsequent support of Hillary Clinton, no less), I was genuinely gobsmacked. I felt like they were trying to lose. I couldn't imagine a worse candidate - if one single candidate had a decent chance of losing to Trump, it was him. And sure, if Biden were standing for the Welsh Assembly or the UK Parliament I'd probably think twice about voting for him too. It sucks that those are your only two realistic choices. The South Park sandwich sketch comes to mind.
But you live in a two-party system. It's wrong and it needs to be reformed, but it's what you've got.
If Trump wins again, the damage not just to America but the rest of the world will be incalculable. Think of it - a Trump unconcerned with winning any votes ever again!
In the past I've scolded people for the idea of 'tactical voting', as I don't generally believe that one should sacrifice their principles for partisan reasons, but in this one instance, I think it's important to do that. Whatever problems Biden has, he can't possibly be as bad as a resurgent Trump with no concerns about being re-elected.
If you genuinely think that your vote won't matter no matter where you put it, go with your gut. But if there's even the slightest possibility that your vote could serve to remove the incumbent president, I would urge you to use it appropriately. For all of our sakes.
Fix the system after the system isn't being dismantled by a lunatic.
I speak from an outsider's perspective, but from all the discourse I have seen around the Biden vs. Trump 2020 US election, I see no way Biden could win. It seems that many people want Biden to be too radically different from the way he is now or they won't vote for him, but that is a terrible strategy if, first and foremost, you want Trump out of the White House. I get the feeling that if enough people just think "Biden's not really much better, so why bother voting for him", and there may well be enough such people, then Trump's going to sweep Biden in November.
What the problem appears to be to me is that people who like Trump or even just prefer him to Biden will vote Trump, but the reverse does not seem to be true for Biden, and I think that will hurt his chances.
Ultimately, if Trump does indeed win a second term, the world will continue to look at the United States as a joke. I know many people that believe the US is full of idiots already, and I don't think 4 more years of a Trump presidency is going to do anything but strengthen the non-US elitism there appears to be here in Australia and probably in other similar 'Western' nations.
Regarding tactical voting, I think that in a two-party system like that of the United States, tactical voting is the only sensible way to vote ever, simply because you can't rank your choices or something like we can here and voting third-party really is wasting your vote in that system. Principles are generally irrelevant because even if you don't particularly like one candidate, not voting for them on the principle that you don't like them (which is almost as bad as straight-up voting for the other guy) gives only the guy you possibly dislike even more more chance of winning.
I'd just like to point out that your state is much more of a toss up than you may realize. The average of each poll this year (and, of course, take polls with a grain of salt) has put Biden at 47% to Trump's 43%. I'm aligned with you that there's nothing inspiring about Biden, and in fact, probably more about him that makes me more discouraged than anything. And you have solid reasons for not supporting him unless he met certain conditions, but let's keep in mind, as you mentioned, there are other things to consider. I'm not religious, but if I were, I would pray everyday for RBG to stay alive until the next Democratic president. Having a 6-3 conservative majority on the supreme court would set this country back decades. We have been very fortunate in recent high-profile cases, such as for LGBT worker's rights and DACA, to have a conservative join the liberal justices, but it would be all but futile to expect outcomes like that with a 6-3 conservative majority.
Yes, we want a Green New Deal, progressive policymakers at the table and comprehensive police reform, but we are tiptoeing on thin ice right now and it's just too dangerous to open any door for Trump to walk into a second term. I hope you'll reconsider your vote!
On the one hand, ideologically I am much more in line with Bernie Sanders than any other high-profile aspirational democratic president (at least until AOC can run) but even if he had won the election I would still be skeptical of his ability to bring about the revolutionary change he promised. There are a significant number of democrats who I think would be more amenable to the ideas of "centrist" republicans than Bernie's, not to mention I doubt the Senate will flip enough in 2020 to get any of the huge legislative projects that Bernie was proposing through. Ultimately, I voted for him in the primary because he had pulled ahead of Warren by the time of the primary, but I thought she could have been the candidate to bring progressive democrats and centrist democrats together enough to get some significant progressive legislation through.
I will be voting for Biden of course but it will be the most unenthusiastic support I have ever had for any democrat in my lifetime. I really just don't think he will ever do anything more than just lip service to progressive ideas, at best.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing. there's notihng wrong with havign a president that doesn't have their party members legislature in lock step. in fact it can be quite good if it forces them to be more representative of people outside their constituency.
I'd be fine with a democratic president that makes compromises with democrats on the left and right. I have my doubts that Biden would be that president though. In fact I fear that he might try to appease republicans, when over the last decade or more republicans have shown that they will not compromise with democrats.
My point entirely. We need to be united if we want to defeat Trump. And for those who say that voting for a moderate democrat hurts progressives, I’d say that Trump winning hurts way more, and if we all actually turn out and vote for Biden, he might actually realize how many Progressives voted for him, and hopefully he will shift further to the left after seeing this.
I do actually think [read: hope] that Biden has a good chance of winning unlike what you said based off of the Blue Wave in 2018 and polling results, but about your second point about ranked voting, I completely agree. I believe that we must adopt IRV voting for single-winner elections, including the presidential and gubernatorial elections, and either STV or a multi-winner IRV for multi-winner elections, such as the House of Representatives. The Presidency and Gubernatorial elections should be based on the popular vote, and the House should be essentially like a parliament, meaning that it is irrelevant where the votes come from. The whole reason the House exists is because it is more representative of the will of the people than the senate, but if you want real representation, we need to have it based off of the popular vote with no regard to the states, like in a parliament, except with less power than the average parliament, since in most parliamentary systems the parliament gets to choose the PM and has more power than other branches of government.
I agree with you on both points, especially the last one. You did however mention that some of the conservative justices supported that LGBTQ rights bill and the DACA bill, which politically are liberal issues, but they still support the conservative narrative when it comes to the Supreme Court. The Republicans are trying to push he narrative that “the conservative justices are interpreting the law, not redefining it”. By supporting the liberals in these cases, they are actually upholding previous legislation, which helps them politically. The republicans have been claiming that the Democratic justices are trying to push for new laws as opposed to interpreting past ones, and so by voting to uphold the meaning of previous legislation, the republicans are actually secretly doing themselves a favor, as it makes them seem less partisan and more pro-constitution. I saw an amazing newscast video about this, but I don’t know where it was from, as a teacher if mine showed it to me. I think it was from NBC, but they did a way better job explaining it. But if you search for why the conservative justices voted for this, you can probably find it.
One more note, I’m currently listening to music from Alegría (throwback to a past conversation with Verdant Haven) to drown out the sound of Trump’s rally, as I was getting too aggravated by it. I even was yelling at our TV, prompting my family to go watch in another room because they couldn’t hear tRump talk.
I also just got an issue about whether flag burning should be legal (it is legal to burn flags in Middle Barael, but burning property is still illegal of course), and I’m hearing Trump in the other room saying that we should punish flag-burners and flag-stompers with a year in prison. Meanwhile KKK members and the gun-bearing protestors who stormed the Michigan capital are walking freely. Only in America
Kawastyselir already pointed this out with better explanation than I could give, but I want to reinforce this point: You do live in a swing state. You are actually one of the few of us, I think, who lives in a state that could tip the election! Your state may have been deep red in the past, but it's on the line now.
Vote Biden in the election because you're a swing-state voter. Then do the best thing you could ever do for Howie Hawkins -- far better then casting a protest vote for him -- by lobbying for an end to FPTP in your state. It looks like there is in fact a nascent ranked-choice voting movement in your state.
Campaign slogan :
Biden, the lesser evil.
I know it'll never happen, but the answer is complete electoral reform. Proper proportional representation allows every vote to matter, gives an equal voice to minor special interests alike and removes the need to tactically vote ever again.
Just a small embassy update from us in TSP to you lovely people here: Right now in TSP, we're having a blast in our Summerfest, spanning from 20 June to 23 June! Please feel free to join us if you'd like, we'd love to have y'all!
Location: The South Pacific Airport
Discord link: https://discord.gg/yCXP2bv
Too many people are very likely not going to recognize the harm that they're doing in this case, They want their progressive candidate except they end up upset because it's 2 non-ideal candidates. Unfortunately, one is very much so worse than the other.
The state of America at the moment is very poor. I am not sure how we are still allowing hate groups to walk freely while arresting and killing people who are protesting injustices in the system. I have a feeling that the upcoming Millenials are going to be the ones to have to pick up the pieces in a decade. Or less. Who knows how long we can be so divided as we are before it really gets bad. What we're seeing now, I think is just a start.
My fellow Foresters,
The summer solstice has passed, which begets new editions of the Greenness Index and the List of Exceptionally Green Nations. Good work to the following nations for their greatest statistical rise since the previous LEGN edition, earning them a green thumbs up: Mozworld (Eco-friendliness), Turbeaux (Environmental beauty & Tourism), and Ransium (Weather). Have a look and see where your nation ranks!
Forest's Collection of Research & Statistics
This dispatch harbors the most up-to-date statistics on Ransium's Greenness Index, the List of Exceptionally Green Nations, and each N- and Z-Day performance. Additional records, such as the the Ecological Footprint Report and Cabinets of Forest, are featured here as well.
On this I'd like to reinforce the point that swing states don't really exist. There's a convention that some states are solid and some are swing, but this can change if demographics shift, or even more quickly if there's a shift in platforms. For the past 30 years the electoral map has only slowly changed, as policy line were fairly fossilized, but from a historical perspective that is the exception, not the rule, and it is very likely that this period of stagnation is nearing it's end, as both demographics and platforms are shifting.
Agreed. For example, Virginia and Georgia both used to be the deepest of the red states, yet now they are inching towards the democrats. Stacey Abrams was so close to winning the gubernatorial elections in Georgia, while in Virginia a Democrat actually won the governorship (though he’s not a very good person). Arizona, home of John McCain, is likely going to be won by Biden. Meanwhile, New Hampshire, in the center of New England, and bordering Vermont, one of the most progressive states in the country, is actually inching towards the right, though it still will likely be won by the Democrats. It does seem like the country as a whole has moved to the left on certain issues, especially climate change and LGBTQ rights, which I believe is the direct result of two things: Donald Trump, and the Millenials and Gen Z.
Which is... exactly the point I was making! Just because Turbeaux's state was solid in the past, doesn't mean it is now.
Vermont, NH, and Massachusetts aren't really moving farther right. Just because they have Republican governors... a New England Republican is a very different thing from a Republican anywhere else.
I agree about Massachusetts and Vermont, although I only kind of agree with your point about NH. NH I suppose isn’t moving much, but it is considerably less progressive and even more republican than the others. That being said, it is still a blue state, but it is closer politically I’d say to parts of upstate NY than it is to neighboring Vermont. When I went to NH a few years ago for vacation, there were a lot of Republicans there it seemed, and NH is also less rich and less cosmopolitan than Massachusetts or Vermont. We even saw a shop with a confederate flag and with a sign saying “You may try but it won’t die”, referring to the gun-loving Confederate mentality. It may not be moving to the right, but out of the New England states, it is by far the most moderate (or even Republican) of them all, in some areas even resembling Pennsylvania or upstate NY.
In New England, left to right: MA > RI > VT > CT > ME > NH. Also Massachusetts may have a Republican governor but anything he does has to get through a legislature that is 80% democrats.
After reading through Cook's report on AZ, it appears that you are correct. Biden will be the first Dem I have voted for at the presidential level since John Kerry (I voted for him because I saw Bush Jr. as an existential threat to the US but Trump makes him look like Abraham Lincoln--additionally, I was young and dumb and did not even consider voting for a third party.). AZ very easily could end up with two Democratic senators as well. I cannot stand McSally, she used to be my congressional representative and was fairly reasonable but has turned into a shameless Trump cheerleader.
I still maintain that Biden needs to make a case for himself. The enthusiasm gap is vast...have any of you seen anybody wearing a Biden hat or shirt? Also, "Keep America Great"/ "KAG" rolls off the tongue much better than "Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead." ("OBDSLA?") He really should make a commitment to supporting a younger future candidate who will actually have to live with the effects of their presidency for quite a while after leaving office. Gerontocracy is especially toxic in the 21st century! Trump can burn down the country and then live out the rest of his life golfing, publishing books ghostwritten for him, and hosting some sort of far-right "news commentary" show. I know that Fox "News" would love to pick that up, but he definitely could pull a Glenn Beck and operate using his own platform. Also, I question the wisdom of his commitment to pick a woman runnning made just because American identity politics have become rather corrosive. Pence is VP because Trump wanted to fake commitment to the "Christian" right despite clearly not personally being a Bible thumper. It worked. Biden has boxed himself in with his promise to select a running mate who is a woman. I most assuredly support having a VP who is not a White man but they should not assume that position because they are cynically used as a campaign prop!
On the topic of Fox "News", it amuses me when their fans complain about the "mainstream media" because Fox pulls more viewers than CNN or MSNBC. They are the "mainstream media". I am pretty sure that CNN's numbers are inflated by it being the default channel to put on TVs in airports and waiting rooms. I know that Forest skews young, international, and tech savvy, but when was the last time anybody here actually sat down and watched CNN? I come very close to avoiding political TV altogether but do watch C-SPAN on a somewhat regular basis. I used to like to stay up all night drinking and then listen to crazy redneck types call Washington Journal at 7 AM but the channel so much to offer aside from that!
We watched a lot of Prime Minister's Questions in my high school's government course (which is where I learned about NS) and that is still good to watch when I am able to! I always enjoy the chaotic feel. I see plenty of sessions where one MP poses a very serious question about UK national policy and is immediately followed by another complaining about an issue with hedges in their constituency or some other similarly trifling concern. A parlimentary system is definitely imperfect but I think that it would be great if there were an American equivalent to that instead of carefully controlled presidential press conferences!
As someone who lives in NH; in my observation there is a microcosm of American politics. The further away you get away from the small NH coast and move further north into the rural areas away from the MA boarder you find more of the "right" while south and seaside remains to be more "left". This creates, in my opinion, a microcosm of the stereotypical thoughts of American political views of the "seacoast elites" that appear "left" and go more "middle America right" as you go into the rural areas in the center. Again just my own views and observations of a life long NH resident. I hope this makes sense.