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No. of Recommendations: 8
According to a series of 2020 Gallop polling, about 36% of Americans self-identify as "conservative", 35% as "moderate", and 25% as "liberal".

In comparison, 51% of democrats identify as liberal, with conservatives a measly 12%. Republicans are 75% conservative.

This means that republican positions tend to appeal to a larger minority of Americans than democratic proposals, while a good third of the country find neither party satisfying and switch their votes with every election.

As long as the parties are ideologically polarized neither will be able to consistently win majorities.

The national problem for democrats is that the conservative advantage over liberals is pretty large (36% is substantially more than 25%). Shifting leftward seems politically foolish. From a political perspective, democrats need Manchin far more than AOC.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/328367/americans-political-ideo...
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No. of Recommendations: 11
Taking your analysis at face value, it makes no sense. I consider myself a Moderate and haven't voted Republican since 1984. Many millions of people are repelled by everything Conservatives claim to stand for. I vote for Democrats or Greens, but never Republicans.

The bigger problem is that people vote based on lies and rumors of what the parties actually do or claim to want. People vote based on something they heard or bumper sticker slogans.

We have actually have data showing that most people want key Democratic policies:

A tax on fossil fuels: 50%

$15/hour minimum wage: 56%

A sales ban for assault weapons like AR-15s: 57%

Raising taxes on incomes above $1 million: 62%

A Green New Deal: 63%

Legalize recreational cannabis: 63%

A pathway to citizenship for the undocumented: 64%

Medicare for All (that want it) — i.e. a public option to private insurance: 70%


- https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/democrat...
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Taking your analysis at face value, it makes no sense. I consider myself a Moderate and haven't voted Republican since 1984.

Data is not the plural of anecdote.

To quote the Pew research:
"Americans' overall ideological views were about the same in 2020 as in 2019, with 36%, on average, identifying as conservative, 35% as moderate and 25% as liberal."

DB2
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No. of Recommendations: 3
You left out abortion. Most folks think it should be legal.
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/06/about-six-i...
The demographics are particularly interesting with only the evangelicals really against. Must be big campaign contributors.
Repeal "Citizens United". Pols no longer care as much about constituents as campaign contributors.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
We have actually have data showing that most people want key Democratic policies:

Unfortunately we also have hard data that democrats did not do all that well in the most recent election. Maybe that would be different if democrats ran solely on the popular policies you listed, but that isn't the case. Democrats are also associated with defunding the police, wok-ness and cancel-culture, critical race theory, no ID voting, and other stuff that isn't so popular.

Folks might in the abstract think all the democrat policies you list are a good idea, but concern about crime is visceral so the defund the police meme is probably more politically impactful than everything on your list combined.

In other words, you can't just cherry-pick the parts of the democrat platform that are popular and assume that should be enough to attract votes. You have to look at the entirety of how democrats are perceived and what the recent voting and polling data indicate is not all that positive.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
To quote the Pew research:
"Americans' overall ideological views were about the same in 2020 as in 2019, with 36%, on average, identifying as conservative, 35% as moderate and 25% as liberal."


Not really relevant. I could "identify" as a black person. Doesn't mean I am. (I'm not.)

What matters are the positions people actually hold, which tend to be fairly moderate/liberal based on all the issue surveys I've seen (like the one quoted by the other poster). That people then vote for the party that does NOT support those policy objectives lends some credence to the other poster's point.
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No. of Recommendations: 14
you can't just cherry-pick the parts of the democrat platform that are popular and assume that should be enough to attract votes. You have to look at the entirety of how democrats are perceived...

A mountain of empirical research shows that the vast majority of the American electorate wouldn't know "the democrat platform" if you hit them over the head with it. Moreover, the things you mention ("wokeness," CRT, defund police, etc.) are not part of it. They're part of the GOP-crafted haunted-house image of the Democratic Party.

If Dems spend their energy attempting to respond to that image, the GOP consultants will simply manufacture out of the wispiest of "facts" some other button-pushing themes: dangerous immigrant caravans, dangerous vaccines, dangerous dark-skinned criminals running loose in the Democrat-controlled city streets and coming to break into your suburban home and kill you, dangerous ... pedophiles? space zombies?

Solution? Stick to what we know works: economic good times, jobs, building and fixing stuff people see and use regularly. In other words, Bidenism.

The GOP knows all this, of course--which is why they demonize anything and everything the current administration proposes that would improve the economy, create jobs, or build and fix stuff.

But don't believe me. Read, e.g., Achen & Bartels, Democracy for Realists (Princeton U. Press). Or, not nearly as long, read this interview with the authors: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/1/15515820/do...
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No. of Recommendations: 3
You're absolutely right. Democrats run on policies and Republicans run on lies about our policies. I don't have a solution. I do feel that the BLM marches had a dramatic effect on driving fearful voters to the Sedition party that falsely claims to be the party of law & order.

Two recent examples of messaging, Texas governor Abbott recently decried South African immigrants bringing Covid across the southern border. This is laughable on it's face, but when you have millions of voters who don't know South Africa from South America....? Did they swim from Capetown to Buenos Aires before joining a caravan?
Fact: in one recent report, 800,634 migrants came from Mexico, FIVE came from South Africa. https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/202...

Meanwhile, Abbott actually did defund the police by taking money from state prisons to throw at a useless border wall. https://truthout.org/articles/texas-gov-is-slashing-prison-f...
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Moreover, the things you mention ("wokeness," CRT, defund police, etc.) are not part of it. They're part of the GOP-crafted haunted-house image of the Democratic Party.

Exactly, which is why I used the phrase "...how democrats are perceived...". It is the perception that matters. Republicans have been very successful at linking woke, CRT, and defund the police to democrats. The reasons they have been so successful is that democrats refuse to engage on these issues, either to defend or reject them. Ignoring them simply leaves a vacuum for the republicans to fill.

If it is really true that these issues are not part of the democratic platform then it is in the best interests of the party to say out loud that wokeness is extremism, CRT misguided, and defund the police a mistake.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
What matters are the positions people actually hold, which tend to be fairly moderate/liberal based on all the issue surveys I've seen (like the one quoted by the other poster). That people then vote for the party that does NOT support those policy objectives lends some credence to the other poster's point.

A couple things here.

First, the GOP has positions that are popular, too. Cutting taxes is always popular, to the point where it doesn't get polled - but things like stricter criminal enforcement (law and order), Voter ID, general marketplace freedom, tighter border controls, strong national defense, a fair level of abortion restriction, segregating athletics based on birth gender rather than gender identity, and other matters are popular as well. The GOP can, and does, build electoral majorities in lots of places based on these more popular positions.

Second, voter positions can change after the parties start campaigning and litigating on those issues. Frequently, a voter will know little more about a topic than what the pollster has just said to them - and when the policy is debated or adopted, their attitudes can change. For example, Medicare for All (who want it) is quite popular in the abstract. But as soon as you explain to people that they'll actually have to pay more in taxes as part of that program, or that it will likely lead to many (most) private plans being discontinued, that flips entirely - and voter sentiment turns overwhelmingly negative.

https://www.kff.org/slideshow/public-opinion-on-single-payer...

Third, voter behavior is based not merely on issues, but intensity of preference and priorities on issues. If voters generally and lightly support all the progressive things that Democrats want to spend money on, but intensely and specifically don't want taxes to rise, then the vast number of popular things that are promoted by the Democrats are going to get overwhelmed by the more salient and popular thing that the GOP is running on. Voters may support Democratic positions on climate change or child care, but if crime/law and order issues are more important to them in a specific election being run at a specific moment in time, voters will gravitate towards the candidates that address the issue that is more top-of-mind.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Just a brief comment. The QoP actually has very few issues that are popular. They have to resort to fear-mongering to get people to agree with them. Just one example, Immigration.

They paint it as "scary brown people invading our country to take our jobs and rape our women (though some may be fine people)". So, "yeah, I support a strong border!!". But then "babies in cages", and "separating families such that they may never be reunited", and the response is "that's horrible!".

The reality is not what the QoP says. What the QoP actually does, most people oppose. What they claim to represent, lots of people support. But the latter isn't real. It's a lie. It's one reason I'm no longer a Republican.

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 3
They paint it as "scary brown people invading our country to take our jobs and rape our women (though some may be fine people)". So, "yeah, I support a strong border!!". But then "babies in cages", and "separating families such that they may never be reunited", and the response is "that's horrible!".

I think rhetoric like this trivializes the very legitimate concerns that I believe a majority of Americans have about illegal immigration. Illegal immigration probably does suppress wages in some areas and illegal immigrants are certainly taken advantage of as cheap labor. IMO, the only way to resolve the illegal immigration issue humanely is by some combination of rational multi-national work visas and regional trade pacts like NAFTA. With respect to the latter, as long as countries near us are much poorer, people are going to keep trying to cross the border and will only be discouraged by cruel and inhumane border control measures.

But of course, both conservatives and progressives made global trade agreements unpopular, hence we have no solution to the southern border problem other than to allow high levels of illegal immigration or abusing those trying to enter.

The reason republicans usually do well on this issue is that they at least admit there is a problem even if their only "solution" is a stupid wall. Democrats as usual just ignore it.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Then talk to the QoP. I'm not trivializing it. I'm repeating what the QoP says.

I agree it's a real problem, especially when the laborers are exploited because they can't go to the authorities without fear of deportation.

So, I suppose, you could say the QoP "admits there is a problem", but they so grossly mischaracterize the problem that it bears little resemblance to the actual problem.

And they do that for most issues. Which is the only way they can get support from anybody other than white supremacists.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
So, I suppose, you could say the QoP "admits there is a problem", but they so grossly mischaracterize the problem that it bears little resemblance to the actual problem.

And they do that for most issues. Which is the only way they can get support from anybody other than white supremacists.


Fascinating.

Just today, politico.com ran a piece arguing that the reason that American politics is so stuck is because of partisan trade-off bias. Most policy proposals have both intended outcomes and regrettable side effects, so getting the 'good' involves the trade-off of getting the bad. However, partisans have a tendency to 'flip' those when considering the motives of their political opponents, and conclude that the other side really wants to promote the negative side effect, and the claimed main purpose is just a ruse:

Most policies are rife with trade-offs. They have an intended outcome and some regrettable side-effects. Our recent studies suggest that political polarization in the United States runs so deep that it leads partisans to see the other side’s intended outcome as a ruse and the side effects as the real intention. In other words, Democrats and Republicans not only disagree about policy matters; they believe the other party’s agenda is intentionally designed to do harm.

We call this tendency the partisan trade-off bias, and it applies to both parties. To a Democrat, the purpose of an environmental policy that reduces carbon emissions, for example, is to preserve the environment, and a corresponding loss of coal mining jobs is an unfortunate side effect. But a Republican, our research finds, might look at that same policy and see a plot to eradicate jobs in the fossil fuels industry. Meanwhile, a Democrat might presume a Republican push to lower corporate tax rates is more about helping the wealthy and hurting the poor than fueling economic growth.


https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/11/30/why-americ...

Border control is a classic example of this. Stringent border enforcement often results in some real painful consequences for poor and desperate people. To a Republican, the purpose of stringent border control would be to secure the country and protect people from unfair competition in labor markets, with harsh outcomes for mostly minority immigrants an unfortunate side effect. The Democrats view that same policy as intended to cause the harsh outcome ("The Cruelty is the Point"), and that claiming to care about security or labor markets is a ruse. Meanwhile, to Democrats the purpose of laxer border controls is to reduce humanitarian suffering, even if the unwanted consequence is that more people get into the country without following the rules; but Republicans see a scheme to try to maximize the number of people who can get in illegally to increase their political power.

Once people start putting on those types of 'filters' of how they see the other side's policies - claiming that the oft-unavoidable negative unintended consequences are actually the motivation behind their opponent's proposals - then normal political co-existence starts to break down. Your opponents are no longer people who place different weight on the intended and unintended consequences of a policy than you do. They're bad people who actually intend and want the bad consequences to happen, and you can't coexist with people that are genuinely trying to hurt the country.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
The Democrats view that same policy as intended to cause the harsh outcome ("The Cruelty is the Point"), and that claiming to care about security or labor markets is a ruse.

I won't speak for "Democrats", but that's not what I'm saying. If the QoP was really interested in border control they would support (or at least negotiate) immigration reform. Last I knew, they wouldn't even discuss it. They just want to build a wall. I quoted Trump himself (well, I didn't look it up so it was probably a paraphrase) in my previous reply.

I'm all in favor of border control. I would assume most Dems are. So let's do some immigration reform so we actually know who's coming into the country, and can regulate it (no TB, vaccinations, no criminals, etc), and those folks will be legal so they can avail themselves of protections should they be abused or exploited, and the farms can still get the workers they need, and a host of other benefits. Building a wall is very visual, makes for catchy slogans, and does absolutely nothing to solve any of the problems (just ask the Chinese...their Great Wall didn't work either). Oh...and it's really expensive.

I do not favor more-lax measures, I favor sensible measures that actually address problems. Separating families at the border doesn't address any problem, unless maybe we're trying to get more adoptable children into the system, because their families will probably never see them again. Even the vile Ivanka saw that, and spoke to her daddy.

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I should add, that I think the QoP wants issues that can inflame people, but they don't really want to solve them. I'm not the first to suggest this.

Consider abortion. It has been a favorite topic for a long time. It generated campaign dollars and votes. If they actually "win" abortion, that issue mostly goes away for them and suddenly the left will be getting the dollars and votes from people who think it should be legal. (I read that a few years ago in an op-ed, and it made sense.)

Same with immigration. They don't seem to want to talk about it, they just want to inflame the masses with it. If we actually solved it, they wouldn't have much to inflame people, and generate contributions and votes. It's not "unintended consequences", it's a cynical use of an issue with no intention to actually address that issue. Dems have wanted to talk about that at least since Obama, and the QoP is having none of it. (Though, yes, anything we do will have potentially negative consequences. That's not a reason to do nothing, and beat the "other side" over the head with the issue.)

I'm sure if I thought about it, I would come up with more. Those two were off the top of my head.

I don't know if it was always that way, but it seems a lot of politicians are more interested in beating people over the head with an issue than solving it. I'm sure Dems do that too, but the QoP is pretty blatant about it.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
If the QoP was really interested in border control they would support (or at least negotiate) immigration reform. Last I knew, they wouldn't even discuss it. They just want to build a wall. I quoted Trump himself (well, I didn't look it up so it was probably a paraphrase) in my previous reply.

I'm all in favor of border control. I would assume most Dems are.


I don't think that's true, at least if we mean "border control" to mean "border control that's materially more stringent than currently practiced." There's a sizable contingent within the Democratic party that vehemently opposes that, and are quite vocal and influential on that issue within the party. Border security and immigration enforcement is one of the areas where the Democratic party has moved significantly to the left in the last decade or so, and the labelling of Obama as "Deporter-in-chief" was a harbinger of a major shift in party policy.

I think the GOP recognizes, correctly, that there's no actual deal space between the two parties. There is no 'comprehensive immigration reform' that's stringent enough that the GOP can support it, but liberal enough that the Democrats can support it. That's why there's been no progress even though there are things that both sides clearly want (relief for the Dreamers, big stupid wall for the Trumpies). It's a losing game for both sides to wade into the muck of immigration reform, which is why it was a dead issue (legislatively) in both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I think the GOP recognizes, correctly, that there's no actual deal space between the two parties....It's a losing game for both sides to wade into the muck of immigration reform, which is why it was a dead issue (legislatively) in both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Ooooh. Your glass has PFAS in it, too!

:-)

I think there's a lot they can agree on. Each will have to compromise things, as is the nature of politics. But the "big stupid wall" is a big stupid wall because it will solve NOTHING. Trump made it a "thing", and now I think even the politicians that know it's stupid can't really go against it because it's part of the Red Team brand. Though some on the border areas -on Team Red- have spoken out against the wall as a stupid idea.

I suspect a LOT of people are where I'm at. Some extreme lefties may call me a fascist, and Team Red would call me "open border man", but neither is correct. In general terms, it's really not that hard. Some of the specifics would get contentious, I'm sure. But securing the border is a worthwhile goal, and I think most Dems would agree (at least the few I know). But it has to be done effectively, or it's pointless. The wall was/is pointless. Creating a system comprised of visas and health checks isn't, and would work. Otherwise they'll just keep coming, wall or no wall, and we'll have no idea who is here or what they're doing.

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 3
So, I suppose, you could say the QoP "admits there is a problem", but they so grossly mischaracterize the problem that it bears little resemblance to the actual problem.

No offense, but I think you are doing the very same thing to the concerns of the other side. I think the immigration problem stems from a fundamental fear that American culture will disappear. I think most Americans want a melting pot society, where immigrants and minorities assimilate into the dominant (and implicitly assumed superior) culture based on western European memes. Instead, what they see from democrats and progressives is an emphasis on multiculturalism and the notion that all cultures are equal. Hence many don't trust democrats on immigration.

You can see this shift in the major universities and liberal art colleges that used to require students to take a set of Western Civilization survey courses where they would be introduced to western philosophers, western art/music, and western literature. Freshman would learn Voltaire, Locke, Beethoven, and Shakespeare. That requirement has mostly disappeared under the explicit criticism of being too Eurocentric, but with the clear unsaid implication that they were too white (see links below).

This pervasive sentiment is what trump and republicans have seized upon and sadly taken to the extreme. The progressives' very predictable emphasis on identity politics contribute to the rise of trump and the GOP dingbats like M.Taylor Greene. The continued over-reaction to stuff like black-face and cultural appropriation that has now morphed into wokeness and cancel culture has trivialized the Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrated a remarkable immaturity in the progressive population. I think a Martin Luther King would have kept his eye on the prize rather than get distracted by such foolishness. It has also made white folks defensive, which complicates the immigration issue.

This is a long intro to my opinion that conservatives fear of immigration (both legal and otherwise) comes not so much from racism but from a misplaced desire to protect American culture, which they believe is under attack from the left. And to be honest, I can relate with that. Unfortunately they also believe it is threatened by new immigrants, which I do not relate with.

In general, I believe that the culture arising from the liberal ideals of the Western Enlightenment is superior to all the alternatives, and it isn't really close. I think a lot, if not most immigrants feel the same, and it is a major reason why they came here. If democrats can't express that, if they are constantly perceived as being critical of and tearing down American culture, they will continue to have difficult elections.


https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/02/19/how-revision...
https://www.nas.org/storage/app/media/images/documents/TheVa...
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No. of Recommendations: 3
The "cancel" crowd are immature. They tend to be teens and early 20s. How mature were any of us at that age?

But to try to assert that is the heart of the Dem party is almost silly. The progressive wing is very vocal, but also a definite minority. They didn't even have enough clout to get Sanders nominated.

Of course the QoP will paint all Dems with that "cancel" brush. Even though most Dems do NOT support that culture, don't want to defund the police, etc, etc. The Dems nominated HRC. And then they nominated Biden. Neither are particularly progressive.

As for cultures, I think most have something to offer. I tend to agree with you that Western/Euro culture is superior in most ways because it gave us the Enlightenment. And that should be taught. But I think it good to teach other cultures. Prior to the rise of Islam, the culture in the middle-east was at the pinnacle of mankind. "Algebra" is an Arabic word for a reason, as are the names of many stars. Their culture has yet to experience an enlightenment, so it fell behind Western culture (which was steeped in religious nonsense also, until the Enlightenment).

Western culture also gave us "I claim this land for [insert western monarch here]", while the people already there were asking "don't we have anything to say about this?". And two world wars. Every culture has their problems.

1poorguy
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No. of Recommendations: 14
albaby observes: Your opponents are no longer people who place different weight on the intended and unintended consequences of a policy than you do. They're bad people who actually intend and want the bad consequences to happen, and you can't coexist with people that are genuinely trying to hurt the country.

This may be a useful cocktail party conversation starter, but it doesn't hold water--and I think you know that. While Dems and Reps once had coherent policy differences that reflected different "weights" or philosophies of government, that's no longer true.

For today's GOP, the only consideration is amassing power. McConnell et al. have *told* us their agenda, which is to do whatever it takes to defeat Dems, period. Should we not believe them?

Trumpism, which has all but completely seized the GOP is, of course, Exhibit A. It has no governing "philosophy." Deficits are irrelevant when the GOP is in power yet suddenly become crucial when Dems are governing. Or consider the absurdity of shuttering the federal government and damaging the economy on a normally routine vote to increase the debt ceiling. Let's not even mention the bald-faced lies about election "irregularities" or the COVID disinformation campaign.

The GOP purports to champion local control of government, yet at the same time GOP governors and legislators pass laws to prevent local units of government from enacting and enforcing virtually any prudent public health policies during a global pandemic. Seriously?

So, yes: as long as a Dem administration is in power, the GOP leadership consists of "people who are genuinely trying to hurt the country." They understand how voters "think" (which is to vote against the party in power during bad times, regardless of the cause), and they act accordingly.

Finally, complaining about the GOP's utterly unphilosophical obsession with amassing power is useless. You don't blame a scorpion for being a scorpion.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Your opponents are no longer people who place different weight on the intended and unintended consequences of a policy than you do. They're bad people who actually intend and want the bad consequences to happen, and you can't coexist with people that are genuinely trying to hurt the country.
---
So, yes: as long as a Dem administration is in power, the GOP leadership consists of "people who are genuinely trying to hurt the country."


Which is the attitude Albaby was writing about.
Quo est demonstratum.

DB2
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Which is the attitude Albaby was writing about.
Quo est demonstratum.

DB2


Yep, a typical non-response response. You offer nothing at all to address my argument. Because you got nothin'.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
"Which is the attitude Albaby was writing about."
Quo[sic] est [sic] demonstratum[sic].

Usually the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) means that proof of an argument is completed, as in the facts prove the argument.

Implicitly, using Q.E.D. conveys the idea that MisterFungi's facts are correct and that therefore Albaby's argument about attitude does not apply to them.

I agree.

Pete
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Of course the QoP will paint all Dems with that "cancel" brush. Even though most Dems do NOT support that culture, don't want to defund the police, etc, etc.

The problem is that few prominent democrats are pushing back against these excesses. I think it would be a good thing for an AOC or Jayapal to come out and say "Enough with the changing of school names and statue removals, those aren't the problems we should be focused on." Or for Warren and Bernie to say "We cannot defund the police, we need to work with the police". And perhaps now would be a good time for democrats to very visibly bring farmers, businesses, unions, border town mayors, and law enforcement to hash out a policy that includes work visas, trade pacts, immigration reform, drug rehab*, and even physical barriers to improve security on the southern border.

I think the apparent democrat strategy of ignoring these issues is a really stupid thing to do when Fox and conservative radio are constantly putting them front and center. Defend these issues or reject them, but don't stay silent.

*I think it is about time that Americans recognize that our demand for illicit drugs is a big reason for the problems in Central America and Mexico that drives the movements of immigrants and refugees to our borders. American drug users, casual and addicts, are a big part of the problem.

But I think it good to teach other cultures.

Sure, teach them. My point is that democrats have to decide what they think American culture is and should be. Should we strive to be a melting pot with a common culture or a multicultural hodgepodge of distinct communities? Are we going to advocate teaching western culture as the foundation of our society or take a more global perspective? Republicans have extensively outlined their vision of America, and apparently it is attractive to white people and rural communities. Democrats need to provide an alternative perspective that is hopefully a better one. If democrats don't do this, the republicans will do so for them and it won't be pretty.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
For today's GOP, the only consideration is amassing power.

That's manifestly untrue.

The GOP has motivations for wanting to have power apart from merely wielding power itself. A huge part of the reason they want power is to keep Democrats from having control instead - in order block Democrats from enacting policies that they dislike, or undoing policies that they prefer. The Democrats, BTW, correctly and justifiably want the same thing - they want to prevent the GOP from obtaining political power, and to dislodge them when they get political power, because they don't want the GOP to do things that would undo Democratic goals.

They also have a laundry list of policy positions that would like to enact or adopt. Some of those policy goals involve getting the government to refrain from doing something it's doing now; others are new policies that they would like to put into effect.

Are these various policies coherent? Not at all, especially now - the GOP is a coalition (like the Democrats), and different factions within the coalition want different (and sometimes contradictory) things. And that's especially the case now, when there's a significant change in which faction is ascendant within the coalition (as right-wing populists seize internal power from the traditional budget hawk/muscular foreign policy factions within the party). Are these various policies good? Again, not to us Democrats - but that doesn't mean that there are no policy positions the GOP wants to enact.

So yes, I think you're engaging in exactly the practice that was described in the article I cited - discounting what the opposing party intends its policies to achieve and instead claiming that what they really want is something else entirely: here, mere power for its own sake.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Implicitly, using Q.E.D. conveys the idea that MisterFungi's facts are correct and that therefore Albaby's argument about attitude does not apply to them.

Silly. It was Fungi's statement that was an example of what Albaby wrote. As he subsequently wrote, "So yes, I think you're engaging in exactly the practice that was described..."

DB2
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No. of Recommendations: 3
That's manifestly untrue.

It may be a broad brush, but I think the core is true.

Yes, they do have their own policies (usually). But they want power for its own sake. Back in the day, you could count on them to negotiate and compromise. Those days are largely gone. They oppose without compromise, or even the offer of compromise, and when they are in power they aren't interested in any other input. It's their way or the highway. That's not how politics is supposed to work. I think the inflection point was when they had a new crop of young evangelicals attain office, and they had ZERO interest in compromise. I think that was part of the TEA Party movement.

You may have issue with the vernacular used, but they clearly are about power. When they have it, they don't listen; and when they don't, they obstruct (and don't listen). That's a far cry from how it was 30 years ago (not that it was perfect then, either). And remember, this is from someone who was once a Republican. One of many reasons I left them.

If there is a faction interested in compromise, it hasn't been influential in decades. When will it be their turn, instead of the white nationalists currently running the party?
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But they want power for its own sake. Back in the day, you could count on them to negotiate and compromise. Those days are largely gone. They oppose without compromise, or even the offer of compromise, and when they are in power they aren't interested in any other input. It's their way or the highway. That's not how politics is supposed to work.

I'm not sure how the party's unwillingness to compromise supports a claim that they want power for its own sake.

One can want power for the purpose of achieving policy goals, and theoretically not care at all about power for its own sake, and still decide that not compromising is the best strategy to achieve those goals. That's especially the case if it is true (or if you believe it's true) that compromising assists the other party in winning elections...because losing elections makes it much harder for you to achieve your policy goals. There was considerable discussion early in the Trump administration whether it was morally acceptable for Democrats to compromise with the Trump team on anything, or even take routine actions to 'normalize' his Presidency, or to instead Resist everything. Ultimately the Democrats ended up having at least discussions on potential compromises (INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK!)...but had they declined, it wouldn't have been because they only 'wanted power for its own sake.'

Albaby

Albaby
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I don't think that's true, at least if we mean "border control" to mean "border control that's materially more stringent than currently practiced."

Define "stringent". I don't equate that to "harsh", but many do/would.

If you have a visa/permit program with qualifications (e.g. no TB, health check, etc) and requirements (e.g. return to your native country for 1 month every year), that is more stringent than the free-for-all we have now. But it's not more harsh. So I reiterate, Dems want secure borders in general. The "open border" people are a fringe group.

So I reject your assertion, depending on how you define "stringent".

1poorguy
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Define "stringent". I don't equate that to "harsh", but many do/would.

If you have a visa/permit program with qualifications (e.g. no TB, health check, etc) and requirements (e.g. return to your native country for 1 month every year), that is more stringent than the free-for-all we have now. But it's not more harsh. So I reiterate, Dems want secure borders in general. The "open border" people are a fringe group.


Are you sure it's more stringent than what we have now?

We have a visa/permit program with qualifications. The reason we have a crazy situation at the border is because visas and permits are very limited, so people are trying to enter the country without the appropriate visa or permit. So your proposal wouldn't secure the border situation at all....

....unless you're suggesting that the number of visas/permits be increased so that people who are currently trying to enter the country without authorization would be able to obtain it. In which case, I don't think that's more stringent.

Albaby
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If they wanted to further their policy goals, they would work on a compromise to get at least some of their goals in the bills. But they don't. That indicates policies are not their priority. Certainly they use power to implement policy (well, Trump was incompetent at that, but in general...). A use of raw power was denying Garland a hearing. And if another justice leaves in the next three years, McConnell has said he'll do it again (without even knowing whom the nominee might be).

1poorguy
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If they wanted to further their policy goals, they would work on a compromise to get at least some of their goals in the bills.

That’s not necessarily true. Even for any single bill, it’s entirely possible - even likely - that the advancement they could get through adding stuff in would be outweighed by the damage to their policy goals from the bill itself. Under such circumstances, they’re better off fighting the bill than helping it get adopted.

And on a more meta level, if scoring small gains in one bill means that the opposing party is more likely to win the next election cycle, then it can be smarter to forego the small gains and just oppose. Gaining or holding the majority or the Presidency is far more effective at advancing or preserving your agenda than any single bill can accomplish.

Albaby
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....unless you're suggesting that the number of visas/permits be increased so that people who are currently trying to enter the country without authorization would be able to obtain it. In which case, I don't think that's more stringent.

I know a bit about this. 1poorlady is a Filipina, brought over on a fiance visa, and later we brought her mom over on a family visa, and we've applied for her sister too. Presently we managed to get the sister a tourist visa (that expires 10 years from date of issue).

There are different visas, with different rules, and different expirations. We've discussed this before, but a migrant worker visa program is what is needed. All applicants have to have a health screening, visa expires in some number of years (maybe 5?), they have to go home once per year (a lot of countries do that...I knew a lot of expats working for our company), they have to have a clean record, perhaps they have to agree that any children born in the US will NOT be left in the US when they return home...stuff like that.

Reality: people stream across the border to do crap jobs for crap pay, without any health screenings or criminal background checks or anything. As a result, we have no idea who is here. Many businesses that rely on this labor would go under without it.

So we can either: a) continue as-is (which both parties claim they don't want), or b) get some control over it. I vote for b). If we agree on b), then we just have to analyze what will work. A wall won't work. Never has, from China to Berlin. Implement visas, and it's a win-win. Migrant workers live in less fear, we know who is here (and that they don't have TB or polio or whatever), businesses that rely upon them get their labor, we spend less on boondoggles...there really is no negative to that given the reality stated above.

1poorguy
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The GOP has motivations for wanting to have power apart from merely wielding power itself.

Of course. They want to use that power to reward themselves and their wealthiest donors financially. And to sprinkle "cultural" victories upon their low-info, racially resentful supporters so that the party can further amass its power. And if it takes an effort to subvert a national election right up until literally the last possible moment in order to hang on to power, nearly all GOP officials have shown that they'll go along with it.

BTW, here in Michigan one of those GOP officials--who sought to decertify the election in this state on utterly specious grounds (as courts so ruled)--died of Covid yesterday. According to the obit, William Hartmann's Facebook page "includes posts and memes downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, comparing vaccine passports to Nazi Germany and blasting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus."

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2021/1...
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Gaining or holding the majority or the Presidency is far more effective at advancing or preserving your agenda than any single bill can accomplish.

But then that's about power, not governing. There is a responsibility for good governance, and sometimes (often?) that goes against the quest for power.

Just as a for-example: if they don't increase the debt ceiling, we'll default. That will affect our bond ratings, the economy, vital government services, etc. That's purely a power play. There is no other benefit to it.

1poorguy
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We've discussed this before, but a migrant worker visa program is what is needed.

Perhaps, but that’s not making things more stringent. It’s making things a lot more liberal. It would be dramatically increasing the ability of immigrants to come to the United States, even if you added some new conditions to it. You’re opening the borders, not exerting more control over them - Particularly if the number of these is under this new program is large enough to nearly eliminate the backlog of people that can’t get one.

And even then, I think you’d have a fairly large number of Democrats that objected to it. You’re describing a system of arguably second class citizens - Nearly full-time residents of the country who are deprived of the right to vote, or any other perks of citizenship, presumably forever. Unless, of course, these migrant visas come with the opportunity and a path to citizenship. Which would be pretty close to the open borders that republicans falsely accuse democrats of supporting.

Albaby
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But then that's about power, not governing.

Not necessarily. Again, when you’re in the majority or in control of the presidency, you can govern in a manner that is entirely consistent with your policy preferences. When you’re in the minority, you have very few opportunities to advance your policy goals. The question is whether or not it advances your policy goals, and your goals for governing, more by racking up small gains through compromise in the minority than by taking actions that will put you in the majority.

Albaby
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PS: The authors of the study noted by albaby are: a PhD candidate in management and organizations, a professor of management, and a professor of psychology. I wonder how much time they've spent watching actual politics in action. In any event, they're quoted:

"Our research points a path forward: Policymakers who pay more attention to this bias might be better equipped to achieve compromise. This means that rather than focusing only on the main goal of a policy, they need to communicate clearly to the public what is intentional and what is a regrettable side-effect of that goal. Fortunately, our studies also suggest this might be achievable. The partisan trade-off bias happens not because people don’t understand a given policy, but because they don’t trust the policymakers who are pushing that policy. We found that the level of trust a person feels toward a policymaker proposing a policy is a crucial driver of the partisan trade-off bias. And when we were able to increase people's trust in the policymaker in our studies, we saw the partisan tradeoff bias decrease substantially."

Yeah, that's the ticket.
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It would be dramatically increasing the ability of immigrants to come to the United States,...

Why? We issue limited numbers of visas of other categories. This would be no different. We could control the number of people authorized, know who they are...they would have to go through some sort of customs station. Right now it's the wild west sneaking across anyway they can. No control at all. And not-stringent as you can get.

Imposing requirements on migrants would be more stringent, almost by definition. Because right now they have none, other than being able to elude border patrol.

1poorguy
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Why? We issue limited numbers of visas of other categories. This would be no different. We could control the number of people authorized, know who they are...they would have to go through some sort of customs station. Right now it's the wild west sneaking across anyway they can. No control at all. And not-stringent as you can get.

You're basically taking all (or most) of the unlawful entry that occurs along the border, and legalizing it. Right now, hundreds of thousands of people attempt to cross into the United States - some making efforts to avoid detection, but many (most) just turning themselves in at the border and requesting asylum. The vast majority (~90%) of those folks have their asylum claims rejected and are either returned to their country of origin or, in the case of those who are required to 'remain in Mexico,' just denied entry. Any amount of new visas that could make a material dent in those efforts at illegal entry would result in a vast increase in the number people we both lawfully and de facto allow to enter into the United States - and those people would have vastly greater legal rights while in the country than unauthorized entrants.

Whatever the benefits might be of such a change in border policy (and I certainly believe there are some benefits), that change cannot be considered making border enforcement "more stringent" than the current situation.

Albaby
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As with most things, the devil is in details. I think anyone who talks about the southern border needs to be able to answer two questions.

In fiscal year 2021 (ending Sep30), there were 1.7M intercepts along the southern border. Let's assume many are repeats so you have about a million people trying to enter the country. Here are the two questions:

1. What is the maximum number you let in?
2. What do you do with the rest?
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You're basically taking all (or most) of the unlawful entry that occurs along the border, and legalizing it.

Sort of. The other way to say it (and is how I said it) is that we are putting together a system that allows us to keep track of who is here. Without said system, they will be here anyway doing menial work (farms, motel maids, landscaping, etc). With it, we can keep tabs on them. Assure they aren't bringing diseases. Some will continue to try to sneak across, but there will be fewer of them and we can devote resources more effectively to deal with them. That is more stringent than we have currently, which is people sneaking across and disappearing. I can't really think of anything more not-stringent than that, short of sanctioning that behavior.

Asylum is a different thing. The root of it is pretty easy: if someone has a reasonable fear for their lives in their own country, they need to be sheltered. But that should really be an international thing. Which is a lot more complex, and the subject for a different thread. We somewhat did that for the Syrians a few years ago.

1poorguy
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Sort of. The other way to say it (and is how I said it) is that we are putting together a system that allows us to keep track of who is here. Without said system, they will be here anyway doing menial work (farms, motel maids, landscaping, etc). With it, we can keep tabs on them.

I understand - but the only way that system actually works is if you increase the number of people who are allowed to enter (with us keeping tabs on them) to a vastly larger number than we currently allow to enter for either work or permanent legal residence. As noted upthread, this year at least 1.7 million people were actually intercepted by government officials as they tried to cross the border. And that number of potential immigrants would only skyrocket if you 'legalized' entry into the U.S. for all people that didn't have diseases. That's actually the vast majority of people crossing the border without a visa. The number of illegal border crossers that successfully remain in-country varies year-to-year and requires a lot of estimation, but it's closer to about 300K-400K people (most people who illegally immigrate to the U.S. are visa overstays, not border crossers).

In other words, your proposal basically abandons the key function of the border that we are trying to, and mostly succeeding, in implementing - keeping the people who do not presently qualify for legal entry into the United States from entering the U.S. in violation of the law. Your solution is to materially expand who is qualified to enter the U.S. That has many benefits, but would never be considered a more stringent border control. Swapping regulation for proscription can often be the right policy, but it's almost never the more stringent policy.

Albaby
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...skyrocket if you 'legalized' entry into the U.S. for all people that didn't have diseases.

I never said that. In fact, I believe I said that the various visas often have different limits on how many can be admitted. My SIL has been waiting for several years, and she has to wait for several more, because her "number" isn't at the top of the list yet. There are limits.

As it stands, there are millions of people here illegally. We can either maintain the status quo, which means most of them will remain hidden (some get caught, but not a lot once they are here), or we can do something constructive.

It's like the war of drugs. A miserable failure. Putting more people in jail won't improve that program. People will continue to smuggle and use drugs. Well, people will continue to sneak across the border and disappear if they have no other option. Which many of them do not.

It will be much easier to find those who continue to sneak because they can't get a visa (for whatever reason), than trying to find them and all the others that would otherwise get migrant visas. And the businesses can still get their labor, and we can know who's here, and maybe even keep some terrorists out that are hiding among the hordes of border-sneakers.

Building a wall won't even slow them down. Maybe machine gun nests with overlapping fields of fire from San Diego to Brownsville would work, though we already know they can dig tunnels. So probably not. Brute force will not keep them out. A combination of requirements for the migrants, and SEVERE penalties for those employing those without visas, will be much more effective.

1poorguy
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As it stands, there are millions of people here illegally. We can either maintain the status quo, which means most of them will remain hidden (some get caught, but not a lot once they are here), or we can do something constructive.

All of what you say has sound reasoning behind it. I don't necessarily disagree with it.

But we were talking about political problems for Democrats, and you had mentioned that you would be all in favor of "border control," and assumed most other Dems are as well. I don't think that your proposals would be considered "border control." They would dramatically open the border. The overwhelming majority of people who want to come to the United States are prevented from doing so. And most people who try to cross the border unlawfully are unsuccessful. Your proposals would liberalize entry in a way that hasn't been done in many decades - and is unlikely to be considered by any of the people who are currently unhappy with the Democrats' current position on immigration to be "border control."

As an aside, there is a non-trivial portion of the Democratic coalition that is deeply against "SEVERE penalties" for employing people without work visas, because of the devastating impact that would have on communities with large populations of existing undocumented workers. Unless your proposal goes beyond giving migrant worker visas to new entrants, but includes retroactively giving people who crossed over years ago (i.e. literally millions of people) the same opportunity, it will get huge opposition from within the party.

Albaby
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Maybe we're just arguing terms here. My proposal would be "border control". We regulate and control it. What we have now is a lack of control as evidenced by the millions of people here illegally.

If the QoP thinks of control as beating border-crossers (which we saw not that long ago), and walls, then "no", I'm not in favor of that. What I'm in favor of is actual control of the border, or at least as much as we can reasonably attain.

It's not a liberalization, per se. There shouldn't be many more migrant laborers than there are now. We would just know who they are and where they're going. And we could eliminate the problem of anchor babies, terrorists mixing in with the crossers, health concerns, crime concerns, etc.

There are an estimated 10M (depending upon who you query) illegal residents here. That's pretty "liberal", if you ask me. Frankly, I would have expected more of a "but that means we're headed for 'your papers please' in this country", which is very non-liberal. In fact, that's they one concern I have. I wouldn't want us to go down that path.

Unless your proposal goes beyond giving migrant worker visas to new entrants, but includes retroactively giving people who crossed over years ago (i.e. literally millions of people) the same opportunity,...

Yes, they would have to apply, and the pool of available visas would be what it would be (e.g 1M, 5M, whatever). Those denied would have to leave. Those accepted could come out of the shadows, not fear LaMigra, etc. Those people here illegally NOW wouldn't just get a pass. They would have to apply like all the rest. But they could stay here while it was adjudicated. Those that don't apply, and are eventually caught, would be barred from ever applying again (so they better apply!).

At least 10M illegal residents. We have no control at this time. I'm suggesting we get some. I can't craft an entire bill here, but I think the majority of Dems would agree to some control, preferably not the beating/caging/separating kind.

1poorguy
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It's not a liberalization, per se. There shouldn't be many more migrant laborers than there are now.

I just don't think that works with the numbers. Which means that this doesn't jibe with the idea that this program would cut down on uncontrolled, unmonitored immigration.

The number of people that want to come to the country is too high to be accommodated through lawful entry. As noted upthread, about 1.7 million people were intercepted trying to cross the border. Another 300-400K (estimated) manage to successfully cross and remain in-country without being caught. And there's another 700-800K unlawful migrants that are visa overstays.

Close to three million people who are making an effort to unlawfully become permanent residents of the country every year. And unlike in the old Reagan-era years, most of the border crossers aren't seasonal or short-term workers (mostly unaccompanied men) immigrating and emigrating back and forth from Mexico to earn money to support their remain-in-country families - they're entire families that are trying to permanently relocate, and more from Central America than Mexico.

So adding a few hundred thousand migrant worker visas isn't going to make a dent in the number of people trying to get in outside of normal immigration channels. Adding more than that (on top of the 10 million or so other lawful permanent resident/green cards you're handing out to the current undocumented) is just not going to be popular, IMHO, outside of traditional immigrant advocacy factions within the party.

Albaby
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...so other lawful permanent resident/green cards you're handing out to the current undocumented...

I didn't say that either. "Green card" is different. I know because I went through that with 1poorlady. I specified migrant worker visa. Sort of like a tourist visa that authorizes labor. It expires. Not everyone can get one. There is NO path to permanent residence in this way; that's a completely different application (I130, if I remember right...and then the N95 to apply for citizenship).

Again, I can't craft a bill on the spot. And, yes, I'm aware that visa over-stays are the number one problem (and would likely hit the migrant visa too). It's a very complex problem with a lot of moving parts. But -to your original point- Dems ARE concerned about border security. I think we just have more realistic ideas and expectations than the "build the wall and make Mexico pay for it" crowd. That was stupid even before Trump uttered it, and it only got more stupid as time went on. Dems want real solutions, not slogans. I know I do.

1poorguy
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Again, I can't craft a bill on the spot.

Oh, I know. I don't mean to suggest that you would need to.

But one of the central issues with 'controlling the border' is that every year, there are literally millions more people who try to permanently enter the country than we are willing to take in. Not just idle trying - for many of them, they undergo enormous hardship in the effort to get in.

Which means that any border control policy has to keep many millions of people who are trying to permanently enter the country from actually doing so. That's not something that can be accomplished with a new expanded category of worker visas. No matter how many visas are in that new category, there will always be millions more people who can't get them but will still try to get in.

There are lots of other interests at play at the border that should be balanced against the interest in keeping people out. Clearly Trump's policy didn't strike a humane balance. But Biden's polling on immigration is abysmal, even as he tries to strike a different balance. And immigration remains one of the top issues of importance among American voters. Democrats have failed to come up either with a plan that voters support or a way to reduce the salience of immigration as an issue they care about. They need to find a fix for that, and it has to involve a way of keeping millions of people who today are willing to try to enter the country from successfully doing so.

https://apnews.com/article/immigration-coronavirus-pandemic-...
https://poll.qu.edu/poll-release?releaseid=3825

Albaby
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That's simply not possible. Whatever we do, whether it's walls or machine guns, millions will try to sneak in here. We can take care of the migrant worker issue as I previously described, and that would likely take some of the load off the border because at least that segment won't be trying to cross illegally. They can come through the front door.

But the fact that we are a reasonably wealthy nation with a string of third world nations across our southern border, means there will be an attraction northward. Unavoidable.

As I also mentioned, we can maybe blunt that a bit by them not being able to find jobs. SEVERE penalties for those hiring the undocumented, and the jobs dry-up. No jobs, not as much demand to come northward. Not a panacea, but a good start. Of course, you will get a lot of push back from people that hire the undocumented unless you can provide them with legal migrant workers; hence the migrant worker visa.

Again, lot of moving parts. Moving and overlapping.

I don't think anyone has been happy with immigration for at least 30 years. Maybe longer. From either party/team. I just take issue with the assertion that Dems don't care. They do, they just are less willing to fund agendas that won't work, or are cruel/inhumane/possibly-illegal. That's doesn't mean we aren't concerned about the issue.

Heck, mention was made of Obama as "deporter in chief". And that was accurate. He took border security seriously, and did his best to see that the laws were enforced. You come here illegally, and get caught, you're shipped back home. I don't think most people of either team has issue with that. A few, but not the majority.

1poorguy
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1pg

we can maybe blunt that a bit by them not being able to find jobs. SEVERE penalties for those hiring the undocumented, and the jobs dry-up. No jobs, not as much demand to come northward. Not a panacea, but a good start.

I think you underestimate this, and that although not a panacaea the results would be stunning and transformative. And then we would be having an utterly different and actually useful policy debate about how many of what type of people to admit.


I don't think anyone has been happy with immigration for at least 30 years.

Construction, hotel and restaurant, and agri-business are all quite thrilled, and no surprise because they are getting what they paid for.

Both parties are thoroughly hypocritical on this issue, and deep in hock to the above and other interests. Most of the conversation and debate we see is pure "watch the birdie!" distraction from the actual realities of industries getting cheap and easily bullied labor while busting labor union organizing and safety regulations.


David fb
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[Obama] took border security seriously, and did his best to see that the laws were enforced. You come here illegally, and get caught, you're shipped back home. I don't think most people of either team has issue with that. A few, but not the majority.

Perhaps not, but that's part of the problem for Democrats. Because although many (most?) Democrats might in fact be supportive of those types of stringent border enforcement measures, the party overall is unlikely to support them - much less take affirmative steps to actually implement them. Stringent border enforcement works incredible hardship on undocumented communities - whether it's aimed directly at the undocumented (as with deportation round ups) or indirectly at them (as with enforcement against employers).

It's not that Democrats 'don't care' about border security, in the sense that they're utterly and completely apathetic towards it. It's that border security ranks fairly low on their agenda - they 'don't care' very much about it, and are unwilling to subordinate many (or any) of their other priorities to enhance border security. That's out of step with a big slice of the electorate. In terms of priorities, Independents think that immigration is the second most important issue facing the country (Republicans put it at #1) - but Democrats put it at dead last:

https://poll.qu.edu/poll-release?releaseid=3825

Albaby
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I get why albaby senses apathy, but I mostly see something close to the opposite in Dem voters and some Dem politicians -- frustrated despair at the deception and cruelty, and unwillingness to treat the exploited illegals with even more cruelty through strict enforcement if with no accompanying reform of civil sanity mixed with a modicum of mercy for those who have cleaned and served and harvested and butchered for so little compensation for so long.

The way out is exactly Albaby's prescription -- turn the hear way way way up on the exploitative employers, and I recommend that at the same time the plight of the Dreamers be pounded and pounded as the insane national disgrace that it is.


David fb
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Quibble: I suggested penalizing employers. Albaby said there wasn't any support to do that.

(humph!)
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I second 1pg's quibble. In conversations over years in California I found a lot of support for that.

David fb
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I second 1pg's quibble. In conversations over years in California I found a lot of support for that.

I quibble with the above quibble.

I agree that a large number of Democratic voters probably have no problem with workplace enforcement. But they don't care much about whether it happens or not. Which means that immigration advocates within the party - who care a lot about preventing workplace enforcement - are able to make sure that the party doesn't end up supporting stringent workplace enforcement.

Immigration is a really tough issue for Democrats, since they're the incumbents. The status quo is distasteful, but there are no easy solutions. Their approach has been to kind of steer away from it, I think? I don't see the Administration or Congress putting immigration on the front burner. But it's still a very salient issue for Independents, even as Democrats rank it at the bottom of their priorities. So that strategy isn't working very well.

Albaby
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This thread leads me to the conclusion that the Dems have a problem with immigration like Reps have a problem with gun control. A rabid minority in both camps keep much of anything being done because the rest of the party, while preferring change, is not as invested in the change as much as the rabids are invested in nothing changing (or in some cases, changes in the other direction - i.e. open carry and sanctuary cities).
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This thread leads me to the conclusion that the Dems have a problem with immigration like Reps have a problem with gun control.

I dunno about that. Per this poll, the "need more gun control" faction of the QoP is relatively small. The pro-gun folks are easily the majority in that party:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-a...

I don't think one could characterize the QoP as "preferring change" on this issue.

As for the Dems, I think albaby is correct in that they don't prioritize immigration as highly as some other issues. It's not that they deem it unimportant, it's just less important than some other highly important issues. Ultimately, you can't make everything a priority. You have to pick some things over others, and relegate those "others" to the future once you have resolved the bigger items (e.g. most Dems would likely put healthcare above immigration; and jobs; and infrastructure).

Maybe if the Dems win in 2022 they could tackle that. It could bubble up to the top of the list. But I doubt they'll get that chance.

1poorguy
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I dunno about that. Per this poll, the "need more gun control" faction of the QoP is relatively small. The pro-gun folks are easily the majority in that party:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-a......

I don't think one could characterize the QoP as "preferring change" on this issue.


As usual, it is a problem of how the question is asked. Scroll further down in your own link and you will find:

89% of Reps/Leaning Reps want to prevent people with mental illness from obtaining guns - that would be a new form of gun control but few if any likely think of it being such when asked the generic gun control question.

83% would ban guns from those on a no-fly list.

79% support universal background checks.

Even 58% would support a federal database.
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89% of Reps/Leaning Reps want to prevent people with mental illness from obtaining guns...

But then if you ask "so you would favor mental health screenings as part of the process for purchasing firearms", they likely would say "are you kidding me?!". Just a guess, but I expect that would be the response from at least 50% of the 86%. Which effectively means that this category is not meaningful.

It's not like we test everyone, and the crazy people have to wear a scarlet "C". So testing would be required prior to purchasing firearms if we wanted to prevent mentally ill people from getting guns. Plus we would have to ban private sales. That wouldn't be amenable to most folks on Team Red either.

1poorguy
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o you would favor mental health screenings as part of the process for purchasing firearms

No, that is a different question and a much different burden of proof.

So testing would be required prior to purchasing firearms if we wanted to prevent mentally ill people from getting guns.

No, those that have been prescribed certain medications or otherwise deemed as a risk to themselves or others by a medical professional would be entered into the federal database and any attempts of purchase would be triggered during the background check. Same way with the no-fly list.

Plus we would have to ban private sales.

No, private sales would have to go through the same background check.
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See, it's how you phrase the question (as you pointed out). "Prevent mentally ill people from getting them". Well, we can only do that if we test everyone who applies. Which is a no-go for the people on the right.

Oh, you meant "people known to be mentally ill". That's a small fraction of the people who fit into the category of "mentally ill". I don't think most mass shooters have a diagnosed illness prior to their rampages.

And private sales? No one knows about them because we don't have a gun registry. My coworker has several firearms he bought legally. I could buy one from him for cash, no one would know. I could use it in a crime, it can't be traced back to him. Because it isn't registered (at least to the best of my knowledge...the NRA has been fighting registration for decades). So, requiring "background checks" for private sales won't work without a registry, because no one knows who bought a gun and then resold it.

We track our automobiles more carefully.

1poorguy
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Well, we can only do that if we test everyone who applies.

No, you are asking for people to PROVE their mental competency vs simply denying access to those already declared incompetent.

We don't require adults to prove their mentally capable to manage their own finances BUT, when we encounter someone that demonstrates that they lack such ability, the court will appoint a guardian and/or a conservator. The same basic standard should apply to purchases. Anyone ALREADY deemed a high risk would be prevented for purchasing. You don't need to meet some affirmative standard to the absence of such otherwise.

No one knows about them because we don't have a gun registry.

Yet 50% of Reps per your survey would be OK with a registry.

So, requiring "background checks" for private sales won't work without a registry,

Define work? Would it improve things? Absolutely.

Even without a registry, making a background check required for private sales would increase compliance for anyone that wishes to follow the law, and would allow for greater enforcement for those that don't comply when a crime has been committed (can charge both the current owner and the prior owner for not following the law). You can bet that if I can be charged with a federal crime for not running a background check on my private sale, regardless of the absence of a database, then I am going to follow the law - especially when I have no means of controlling what the buyer does with the gun. I am going to cover my backside - and many law-abiding conservatives are likely to do the same.
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albaby1: "Border control is a classic example of this. Stringent border enforcement often results in some real painful consequences for poor and desperate people. To a Republican, the purpose of stringent border control would be to secure the country and protect people from unfair competition in labor markets, with harsh outcomes for mostly minority immigrants an unfortunate side effect."

I will accept, arguendo, (1) to secure the country but ain't no way that (2) to protect people from unfair competition in labor is true or there would be evidence in other context that Republicans supported labor, more generally, then R's ever do.

(2) is filler at best and more likely total B.S.

Regards, JAFO
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1poorguy: "I don't know if it was always that way, but it seems a lot of politicians are more interested in beating people over the head with an issue than solving it. I'm sure Dems do that too, but the QoP is pretty blatant about it."

It has been well known for decades, even in popular culture.

"I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections."

Andrew Shepherd's speech writers.

Regards, JAFO
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In related news from two days ago:

Dan Crenshaw Blasts GOP Freedom Caucus: They’re ‘Grifters’ and ‘Performance Artists’

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dan-crenshaw-blasts-gop-freedom-1...

“There are two types of members of Congress: there is performance artists and there is legislators,” he exclaimed. “Performance artists are the ones who get all of the attention, the ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well. They know how to recite the lines that they know our voters want to hear.”

...

“What you hear so often is not true. It’s not true. We have grifters in our midst,” he proclaimed. “Lie after lie after lie, because they know something psychologically about the conservative heart. We’re worried about what people are going to do to us, what people are going to infringe upon us, that’s the nature of conservatism!”

------------

Truer words are rarely spoken.


Hawkwin
Fear is the mind-killer
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I remember the study that said conservatives were more fearful. More recently scholarship has said "it's complicated". They are fearful of different kinds of threats.

https://www.livescience.com/conservatives-not-more-fearful-t...

But I do think they are more fearful in general simply because of their predilection for firearms. I don't own a gun, and I'm not afraid. Many I know seem to be obsessed with "how can I protect myself", and they gather guns. But, again, the authors would say that was overly simplistic.

If you look only at the United States, the researchers report, it's true that right-wing beliefs and a fear of war or terrorism go hand-in-hand. But expanding to other threats shows an inconsistent mix of associations. In other words, even in the U.S., conservatism and a physical sensitivity to threats aren't clearly linked.
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Hawkwin: "No, those that have been prescribed certain medications or otherwise deemed as a risk to themselves or others by a medical professional would be entered into the federal database and any attempts of purchase would be triggered during the background check. Same way with the no-fly list."

Such a position will likely discourage people from seeking mental health advice. For decades we have been trying to reduce the stigma associated with receiving therapy for mental health issues.

And especially if the "drug" has medical uses other than for mental health.

Regards, JAFO
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No doubt there would be some undesirable consequences but what other alternative do we have in keeping such individuals from arming themselves?
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Make it a part of the screening to own firearms. Then it doesn't matter if you seek it out on your own, you'll still be subject to it when you apply to purchase a firearm.

No need for a waiting period, either. It would take time to get evaluated, effectively being the waiting period.
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