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Of course, the new populist who runs as an outsider is a liar. He always is. History shows us that the populist outsider is always a liar and never, ever, ever, ever makes the rural working poor’s life better. This is a timeless cycle that goes back more than a hundred years. The populist always appeals to the working poor trapped in a cycle of despair, he never makes their lives better, and a couple generations the same thing happens again.

 

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A lot of people do not understand what it’s like to be so poor you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or how you’re going to pay rent. It’s corrosive. When you are in survival mode, you’re exhausted all the time. You don’t have energy left for an abstract analysis of European history during the early 20th century.

 

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So something happened in some far-off country where Trump did something that had something to do with foreign aid. So. Fucking. What? Trump’s poor rural supporters are dying. They have no jobs and no prospects. Why should they care what happened with foreign aid in the Ukraine? Tell me, seriously, how does caring about that help make their lives better?

 

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So something happened in some far-off place where Trump did something that had something to do with disaster relief. So. Fucking. What? Trump’s poor rural supporters are dying. They have no jobs and no prospects. Why should they care what happened in Puerto Rico? Tell me, seriously, how does caring about that help make their lives better?

 

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But the person who’s been trapped in a cycle of poverty for two generations, who’s lost his job and knows it isn’t coming back, whose brother killed himself, whose sister is a meth addict, who turns on the TV night after night and sees “Corporate profits up! Corporations set new record profits! Jeff Bezos makes $100,000,000,000! Corporate profits shatter all expectations!”, and who then votes for the only candidate in the last three decades who will even talk to him? You wonder why this person voted Trump? Really?

 

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This is part of the cycle. This is how populism works. The populist candidate never, ever, ever makes the poor person’s life easier, but he keeps getting votes anyway…

 

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As for campaign cycle duration, one of the huge costs of our plurality voting system in the U.S. is that the culling process is taking longer & longer and more & more money is getting spent. Candidates are trying to win the support of voters earlier as they jockey to either win office or keep their jobs. The extended duration gets very expensive very fast and costs the public time that should be spent on policymaking.

 

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Notes: one of the things that I place a higher value on for myself is the ability to express relative preference amongst multiple candidates. I think that simplicity ultimately ranks us the most important value to consider, but I think that part of is the opportunity to express contingent scenarios. SODA voting has become my preferred approach (thanks to the advocacy here of the good Mr. Quinn), but in reading on my own, I’ve also developed an interest in the Schulze method as well. (It is also know as CSSD, SSD, or Path voting.) It allows a voter to rank all choices, rank a few (or even just one) of the choices, and it allows for voters to give two or more candidates a tied rank, if that’s what they want to do. The guarantee it makes – via pairwise comparisons – is that if there is a candidate who is preferred over the other candidates, when compared in turn with each of the others, that that candidate will win. I personally prefer that approach to standard Approval voting – but pretty much anything is preferable to the plurality system that most public elections in the U.S. use.

 

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The very voting system we use creates a situation where in order to win our votes, candidates are compelled to spend less time doing the jobs that we’re electing them to do. I believe that systems that don’t constrain voters to a single choice on their ballot will relieve the pressure of competing longer and more expensively to sway each single vote. Anything that we can do the voting system that limits the incremental benefit of more time and more money being spent will be healthier for our democracy and for the work of actual governance.

 

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This means that anyone who is nominated by either party always stands a very strong chance of ending up in the White House. It doesn’t matter how you personally feel about them. The next Democratic nominee will more than likely do at least as well as Hillary Clinton. At this point, at least 85% of people who will vote have already made up their mind. The vast majority of those votes won’t matter. We already know how the election is going to go in all but a handful of states.

 

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They used to do that. One reason why the $2 bill is not popular in the United States except as a curiosity is because it was at one time used by crooked politicians as a way to buy votes of people on their way into the polling place. One reason this stopped is because laws against buying votes were enacted and enforced.

 

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When they could no longer buy votes directly, crooked politicians found other ways of doing it, which involved promising “free stuff” to voters if they would vote for them. Because while it’s illegal to directly bribe someone to get their vote, it’s still perfectly legal for a politician to get the government to pay off their bribe after they get elected. We had a pretty brazen example of someone trying this in this election cycle…

 

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Presumably, you are a Sanders supporter because you believe in his vision. You want to live in the society he envisions: more income equality, universal health care, accessible higher education, a more rational and egalitarian justice system. Am I right?

 

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