Why I’m becoming less polarized

Everyone seems to believe America is becoming more polarized.  The right and left increasingly live in different states, and watch different news shows.  In my home state (Wisconsin) neighbors and even family members have stopped talking to each other.  There’s a loss of collegiality in Congress.  The list could go on and on.

I’m not sure why this is happening, but my hunch is that it partly reflects the fact that the GOP is becoming less utilitarian (but why?), and it might also partly reflect the increasing ethnic diversity in America.  But ethnic diversity isn’t the only issue (certainly not in Wisconsin.)  I’ll address the role of utilitarianism in another post—but the bottom line is that Romney’s a utilitarian trying to run as an ideologue, and failing miserably.

In this post I’d like to point out that I’m an exception, I’ve become less polarized over time.  I don’t have strong feelings about either party.  But that’s not because I’m wishy-washy (are you listening Morgan?) but rather because I’m an American.  If I was a European I’d be incredibly polarized, much more than Paul Krugman.  (Yes, I’m misusing the term ‘polarized’ but you know what I mean.)

Here’s the European right:

After the second world war the far-right was taboo in much of Europe. As memories of the war fade, Europe’s far-right parties have adopted the welfare aspirations of the centre-left and flavoured them with protectionism and nationalism. Their increasing popularity suggests that this recipe will go down well””unless mainstream parties find ways to calm voters’ pressing anxieties over culture, identity and Europe’s way of life.

There are items on that list that would appeal to someone like Paul Krugman (although of course he’d nonetheless be repulsed by their overall message.  Indeed he’s one of the few bloggers to warn about recent trends in Hungary.)  But there’s nothing much there to appeal to a pragmatic libertarian like me.  It’s all big government; statism, protectionism, nationalism, xenophobia, cultural conservatism, etc.—especially in Eastern Europe (less so in Holland.)

The US really needs the sort of parliamentary system they have in Europe.  We need three parties; the Social Democrats, the Free Democrats and the Christian Democrats.    We are missing a socially liberal and economically conservative party like the Free Democrats.  Or like the center-right parties than now govern Sweden.

If we had such a party then we could make Mitt Romney its leader.  And he could run on what he actually believes.  And I’d have a home.  And they’d often be the swing party in coalition governments, keeping the two extremes in line.

PS.  I’m well aware that the center-right parties in Europe are in many respects to the left of our Democrats.  But the point is that these parties are gradually pushing their countries toward lower MTRs, vouchers in education, privatization, etc, etc.  Don’t just look at levels, look at the direction of change they favor.

PPS.   Saturos sent me this statement from John Barrdear:

In other words, I read this speech as evidence that Kocherlakota’s underlying philosophy remains unchanged, but his perception of the problems to which he needs to apply that philosophy has changed.  That doesn’t make him a leopard changing it’s spots, that makes him principled, intelligent and open minded.

I completely agree; if people read my Kocherlakota post as saying something different, then I probably worded it poorly.  BTW, I was an inflation hawk in the 1970s, and my underlying philosophy remains unchanged.



20 Responses to “Why I’m becoming less polarized”

  1. Gravatar of Aidan Aidan
    22. September 2012 at 06:46

    Mitt Romney is the natural leader of the socially liberal party? Was Rick Santorum unavailable?

  2. Gravatar of udonotgetit udonotgetit
    22. September 2012 at 06:48

    “the far-right was taboo in much of Europe”?

    You are rather mindlessly repeating the Big Lie of Post War Socialist and Communist propaganda. “Fascism” wss of the left; it was not “far right wing”.

    That would be the National socialist Party”, and Mussolini was a socialist prior to the 1930’s.

    The very notion of a “far right wing” as some sort of cohesive, motive political movement in those times is a farcical formulation. In this case the “far right: would be those would would seek to return to the discarded aristocratic system of Europe; system cast down in ww1. Such creatures existed, of course, but could scarcely be more marginal.

    Morever, there is nothing at all in the American “Right” that has anything to do at all with the so called “far right” described in the Economist (which is, incidentally, of the Establishment Left). There is every reason to believe that these apply to conservative voices in the EU. Economically speaking, those parties named “far right” here actually hold to a more “National White Socialist” set of beliefs so far as political economy goes.

    In actual fact, the whole notion of a “far right” is mostly a creation of the Left meant to scare people and an rhetorical attempt to pose Communism as some sort of normative political and economic condition. You appear to have been taken in by this.

    And no, the very last thing the USA need is a parliamentary system. What works is separation of powers. You seem to think that this is trivial, or that something in the USA is “broken. This is not the case. The problem is not “polarization”–this being just the rhetoric of the Establishment left–but rather right and wrong.

    The Democrats of today, when not functioning as a criminal combine and a corrupt political machine, are stainless a mixture of every sort of failed Oligarchical collectivist of the 20th century: Marxist Leninists, Stalinist,Maoists, psuedo Peronists and “Chavezists”. They just have hid it well.

    They loathe all the is great and good in America, and are most likely in the pockets of her enemies. There cannot be any compromise with such people. It is mistaken to call this “polarization” for this formulation places the respective positions as moral equals. This is hardly the case.

    You do not appear to be a shill for these people, but you do not seem to have the slightest clue as to what is going on in the USA these last 60years or so.

    America need to cast of these corrupt Marxists and cleave towards it political root.

    I suggest you get you nose out of the MSM. You will certainly not discover the truth in the pages of The Economist”.

    They mean to loathe

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. September 2012 at 06:56

    Aidan, A pro-choice Governor of Massachusetts? Why not? Your mistake is assuming Romney actual believes what he is saying. I doubt he’s said one word he actually believes in the entire campaign.

  4. Gravatar of W. Peden W. Peden
    22. September 2012 at 07:19

    You’re right about socially liberal/economically conservative parties. One thing that continental Europe has which I envy is a place in their political spectrum for free-market social liberals. In Sweden, as you know, they (the Moderate party) even get into power, and in Germany the Free Democrats are in a coalition.

    In Britain, France and America, however, those of us who want to move towards less government for both the boardroom and the bedroom have to put up with factions. For example, in Britain there are libertarian-leaning groups within four parties with +1% of the vote (the Orange Book Liberal Democrats, the liberals within the Conservative party, the liberal-leaning “Tartan Tories” in the Scottish National Party, and most younger members of the UK Independence Party in my experience) which perhaps won’t form a cohesive party until at least there is electoral reform.

    And in America, Gary Johnson will do very well if he gets over 1% of the vote. (It must be really tough over there: on social issues, just about every Conservative MP is more libertarian than just about every Republican Congressman not called Ron Paul.)

  5. Gravatar of Martin Martin
    22. September 2012 at 07:36

    Hey Scott,
    Whilst I do agree with bits of the analysis in The Economist, I think the conclusion is basically wrong and misleading. Let me explain why.

    The only country I can really comment on is Holland, as this is the country I am most familiar with. Holland, is what you might call an oligarchy rather than a constitutional monarchy. I say it is an oligarchy, because the parties and the people that have ruled over the Netherlands have done so for a quite a long time and are fairly entrenched: it is very difficult to break into from the outside and to change things. It doesn’t help that none of the parties can ever get a simple majority, as this means that the parties often have to cooperate with one another; the majority rule here basically serves to enforce a cartel.

    The result is that party elites can act fairly independent from what voters actually want and thus spend public funds on goodies for those elites and their pet projects, rather than on what the populace actually wants. This problem is further exacerbated by that those elites can count on substantial revenues from natural gas, and thus do not need to raise as much revenue through taxes as they otherwise would have to finance all the expenditure. The perceived cost is thus lower, and this further dampens political competition.

    To illustrate the use of public funds in Holland and the lack of political competition, one just has to look at the appointment of mayors and of directors/ceo’s of quasi-public institutions (e.g. housing agencies, hospitals etc). These positions are often used by political parties to provide loyal party members and politicians who have failed at the national stage with a high status job and income. In the latter case, these jobs pay very well – they pretend to be private firms – success is rewarded and failure is never punished. The list of failures ranges from your run-of-the-mill cost overruns such as in the case of the renovated Stedelijk Museum (127 mio – 107 mio = 20 mio euro’s), to incompetence such as public housing agencies investing in derivatives and losing a considerably amount of money, to outright fraud in institutions of tertiary education reducing the value of certain degrees to those obtained from a degree mill or zero. In the latter case there was also fraud with tax subsidies involving one of our later ministers of education. This list does not include subsidies given to the companies of loyal party members for work done for the government.

    What happens on the national level in Holland, is however nothing compared to what happens at the EU-level where there is even less accountability and even less political competition. One example: with all the subsidies and pay, it is possible for MP’s in the European Parliament to actually become millionaires by the end of his or her term. A lot of national politicians therefore do want to go into the EU.
    When all this is however pointed out, the state media, firmly in control of the ruling parties, and the elites of those ruling parties dismiss these criticisms as basically the opinion of unsophisticated backward peasants and call the people who do raise these points “populists”.

    It is therefore not the “anxieties over culture, identity and Europe’s way of life.” that mainstream political parties need to calm; the problem is not as much with what’s in the voter’s head as what the ruling elites do and the lack of political competition. A large block of voters who voted for Wilders for example think or say that he’s posturing with his extreme points of view regarding immigration, Muslims and the double nationality, that’s why people are attracted to him. He like Fortuyn, the murdered politician, before him, represents a break with the past and a break of the grip of power the elites have over the country. They don’t vote for Wilders, rather they vote against the ruling elite. Personally, I don’t vote.

  6. Gravatar of Aidan Aidan
    22. September 2012 at 07:39

    Scott, your mistake is assuming that Romney believed what he said when he ran for office in Massachusetts. He’s stated that he got permission from the Mormon leadership to run as pro choice; there is no indication that he ever actually held these beliefs for any reason other than political gain. He was a pro choice candidate, not a pro choice governor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorship_of_Mitt_Romney#Abortion

    I honestly have no idea why people seize on the version of Mitt who ran against Ted Kennedy as evidence of the “real” Mitt. As a governor he was tough on abortion, tough on gay marriage, tough on immigration. You can make the case that maybe he doesn’t believe in any of those positions, but there is really no evidence to support that. I would be highly surprised if he thought the Mormon Church was wrong about abortion and gay marriage. Immigration is the most plausible area he might be secretly liberal about, but a) he hasn’t actually done anything that would give that indication and b) “maybe secretly liberal on immigration” is really what I’d be looking for from my socially liberal party leader.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. September 2012 at 08:23

    Aidan, It doesn’t really matter what he really believes, which we’ll never know. He’s a politician. The point is that the Massachusetts GOP is a socially liberal party and he headed that party quite effectively. That’s my main point. He’s certainly willing and able to head such a party, and I’m pretty sure he’d prefer it to the bizarre national party he currently heads, which is about to drag him down to a loss.

    BTW, when he was Governor there was not a single state in the country that had voted to legalized gay marraige, so I’d hardly expect a Republican Mormon to suddenly champion the idea. That fact tells us almost nothing.

    I’m certainly not trying to defend Romney, far from it, it was just an offhand comment.

  8. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    22. September 2012 at 08:43

    So what this post amounts to is: everybody else’s politics misses the point. I wish there was a party here that largely agreed with my preferences.

    Btw we have a parliamentary system here in Australia, but our Liberal and Labor parties largely mirror the Republicans and Democrats respectively these days, more so than their UK equivalents. (Worse in some ways.) And our third party used to be the Australian Democrats, ostensibly centrist but opposed to neoliberalism, and the only top-3 party defending gay marriage. Now our third party is… the Greens, with one seat in the lower house. The only lead politician I can imagine you supporting here recently is Malcolm Turnbull, the previous Liberal leader, but he got ousted in an internal coup, for being pro-taking-climate-change-seriously.

    If you were in Britain, would you support the Liberal Democrats?

  9. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    22. September 2012 at 10:34

    Scott, says….
    “The US really needs the sort of parliamentary system they have in Europe.”

    I 100 % agree. Strenuously.
    Every time gridlock is decried in our press, there should be a loud response…ABOLISH THE SENATE.
    (at the very least it would put pressure on the Senate to change their self-imposed rules that make every single Senator capable of grinding the process to a halt )

    Scott also says… ” I doubt he’s (Romney’s ) said one word he actually believes in the entire campaign.”

    Me, I doubt he has ever cared if he believes what he has said or not. All he cared about is how it effected his chances at gaining power.
    And if I am right that means power in itself is more important to him than what he does with that power.
    And that coupled with our system of a divided government, that never allows for fully implemented experiments in policy to be tried, and always allows for blaming the opposition for any and all failures of any policy…leads to making it impossible to hold anyone accountable…And does not give the public a chance to even sort out what policies mean.

    Instead of selling the utility of policy America’s tribes are sold values and policies are arbitrarily attached to them.

    It is a system that promotes actors who care more about power than policy.

  10. Gravatar of Luis Pedro Coelho Luis Pedro Coelho
    22. September 2012 at 11:31

    In France, Le Pen (daughter) actually said, more than once, that she was not just saying the same things as the left, but actually she was the only one who believe them (i.e., she was campaigning to the left of the Socialist Party).

    “They say they want to protect industry at home, but then sign free trade agreements. They say they want to protect the French worker, but then admit low-income foreigners.” &c

  11. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    22. September 2012 at 12:15

    “I’m not sure why this is happening, but my hunch is that it partly reflects the fact that the GOP is becoming less utilitarian (but why?), and it might also partly reflect the increasing ethnic diversity in America”

    My theory is that the GOP is a victim of its own success. They can never lose the feeling that it’s 1980 all over again.

    Trouble is that they have picked all the low hanging fruit. If they had been able to declare “mission accomplished” after say 1996-with welfare reform-they would have been in good shape. After 2004 we were hearing them predict a permanent Republican majority.

    How quaint that now sounds. What happened is they got the low hanging fruit-big tax cuts, prviatization of many things that probably should have been privatized, some cut backs in government.

    However, what was really left after Welfare Reform? Nothing except taking on the New Deal itself. Reagan had never even dreamt of going cirectly after SS and Medicare but this became their goal. Also maybe 70% marginal rates are too high but it’s a lot harder to make people feel the same way at 35%.

    Basically they’ve achieved what they could achieve but they haven’t known when to quit while their ahead.

    If anyone fits your bill Scott maybe it would have been Eisenhower back in the 50s. I watched his 1956 convention speech recently. That was really the high water mark of pragmatism and lack of ideological rigidity.

    After him though Goldwater took control and the rest is history.

  12. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    22. September 2012 at 17:19

    Everyone seems to believe America is becoming more polarized.

    No, it’s the polarized who believe America is becoming more polarized.

    Gallup reports, to the contrary, that more voters today are independent — not committed to any party or ideology — than ever before. That’s an electorate that is less polarized and more moderate than ever before.

    “Politics is more polarized than ever” is just symptom of “everything was better in the old days” disease. Almost everything was *worse* in the old days, and this is no different. Just look back to see how things used to be…

    In my own memory: Crowds outside the White House for two years chanting: “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” … soldiers shooting down students on campus … annual race riots in inner cities … campus riots, protests, takeovers and closures …domestic terrorists (not foreign terrorists) bombing buildings — the Weather Underground, SDS, etc … Spiro Agnew as Nixon’s life insurance policy … etc. etc. etc.

    Or start from the Founders’ day. Jefferson and Hamilton as they sat in Washington’s cabinet each using govt resources to brutally do each other in … a sitting Vice President shooting a political enemy dead then calmly returning to his job presiding over the Senate … Congressmen routinely bringing weapons to the Capital and frequently threatening and assaulting each other — after Preston Brooks of North Carolina beat Charles Sumner of Massachusetts very nearly to death on the Senate floor he was re-elected as a state hero (that’s partisanship!)… and need one say “Civil War” … or “Reconstruction”?

    Is there anything like any of the above today?

    It is true that the parties are sorting themselves out so conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans have disappeared, eliminating party political overlap in the legislatures. But that is a return to the long-term norm, from post-Depression/WWII aberration. And it is the result of the increase of direct democracy — as “smoke filled room” appointment of candidates has been replaced by primary elections, the outside-wing voters of both parties (now organizing more effectively than ever over the Internet) have displaced the “bosses” who appointed candidates on the basis of who was most effective for them (the bosses) instead of ideological purity.

    But how many of the people who decry partisanship criticize direct democracy?

    The motivated partisans on both sides are highly politicized, of course, as are their affiliated media flacks … entirely out of self-interest. And *they* are the ones who see partisanship everywhere and rant about the ills of it.

    But when it comes down to the bottom line, the ratings of MSNBC and Fox combined are dwarfed by those of American Idol.

  13. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    22. September 2012 at 17:36

    Every time gridlock is decried in our press, there should be a loud response … ABOLISH THE SENATE. (at the very least it would put pressure on the Senate to change their self-imposed rules that make every single Senator capable of grinding the process to a halt)

    Though it would be nice if at least a small voice also reminded people that the propensity for “gridlock” built into the USA’s constitutional process — including individual senatorial rights, which date back to earliest days and used to be even stronger — was considered by the Founders very explicitly to be a virtue of the system, not a defect.

    And considering the constitutional success of the USA over the last 200 years — compared to that of other nations in which it has always been much easier for politicians to “do things” without strong and broad political consensus — there is a pretty dang good case that they were right.

  14. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    22. September 2012 at 17:40

    The US really needs the sort of parliamentary system they have in Europe … [with] a party like the Free Democrats.

    So all the “small government” policies that have been embraced by all those countries across Europe would have a chance here?

  15. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    22. September 2012 at 18:45

    My theory is that the GOP is a victim of its own success …

    *Every* party that gains broad power becomes a victim of its own success — after its predecessor did the same.

    Secular shifts in political power always result from people voting against the incumbents.

    In 1932 people didn’t vote for FDR and the Democrats (whose campaign platform was to balance the budget by cutting wasteful federal payroll and spending) they voted en masse against Hoover and the Republicans and their Great Depression.

    The people voted not for Nixon but against LBJ and his Vietnam war … not for Carter but against the Nixon/Watergate-Oil crisis recession … not for Reagan but against Carter and his double-digit inflation, sweater-wearing malaise and hostages who remained in Iran after the disastrous rescue attempt … and so on, up to not for Obama but against the Dubya Republicans with their Iraq war, financial crisis huge bank bailouts and Great Recession.

    BUT, parties are driven disproportionately by their “true believer” wings, and they always flatter themselves that the people voted for them, instead of against the other side. And believing that they overreach and set themselves up to get killed. They do it again and again.

    Clinton and the Democrats won full control in 2000 with Bush (and his recession) getting only 37% of the vote — the press was full of stories, “can the Republicans survive?” — then massively overreached, and just two years later were destroyed … Bush II and his Repubs got full control, overreached, and lost everything … Obama got full control, overreached and in just two years got wiped worse than Clinton did.

    Even FDR, when he thought he had secured full control, overreached and got clobbered, had his agenda hammered — though by the right side of the Democrats, not the nonexistent Repubs of the day.

    OTOH, Reagan and his Repubs always had to deal with a strong Democratic House, so they never had the chance to overreach. And Reagan has gone down as the most successful Republican president of our times. Coincidence? And Clinton, *after* the Repubs took the House so his Democrats could no longer even think of overreach, built up his rep as the most successful Democratic president of our times. Coincidence?

    After 2004 we were hearing them predict a permanent Republican majority.

    Just like after 2008 — all of four years later — liberals were proclaiming a Permanent Progressive Majority, and 40 Years of Democratic Rule. Remember?

    Then what happened in 2010?

    they haven’t known when to quit while their ahead.

    Yes indeed, but this is completely bipartisan behavior. It is how the political system works with everybody — not a unique character flaw of one party or the other.

  16. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    22. September 2012 at 18:48


    Clinton and the Democrats won full control in 2000…

    That would be 1992, more likely.

  17. Gravatar of johnleemk johnleemk
    22. September 2012 at 20:40

    While I agree with almost everything Jim Glass has said, I will dispute the (implicit) suggestion that the US presidential system is inherently superior to most/all other democratic forms of government. Maybe it works best for the US, but it’s been rather hard to translate this system to almost any other country. Other variables confound the situation obviously, but it’s not a slam dunk case for the eminence of a US-style political system.

    The system which probably has the best claim to superiority is, I would venture, the Westminster parliamentary system. It’s worked well for a lot of countries, which is more than can be said for the US’s system. That doesn’t mean the case for it is strong; merely that it seems stronger to me than the US’s one.

    From having travelled to and lived in a few different OECD countries, my perception is that politics is more or less the same in the developed world anyway, regardless of whether it’s a parliamentary or presidential system. People are partisans aligned with tribes and mood affiliations of their choosing; it’s the same in any developed democracy.

    Having said that, it is interesting how Europe has come to a virtual consensus that it’s good to, say, privatise the postal service and seems to be on its way towards really pushing for charter schools/vouchers as alternative implementations of a publicly-funded school system, while the same initiatives have relatively little traction in the US. (If anything, I would say that at the national level the Democrats have probably had more success on liberalising education than the Republicans, judging by the last four years.)

    P.S. Scott, sounds like it’s time to do another one of those “Great Danes” posts again. It’s always striking to me how in some ways Western Europe is much more radically “free market” than the US.

  18. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    22. September 2012 at 21:42

    “Just like after 2008 “” all of four years later “” liberals were proclaiming a Permanent Progressive Majority, and 40 Years of Democratic Rule. Remember?”

    Jim what’s interesting though is that 40 year party rule does happen. It’s even the norm in U.S. history. The Dems did rule for 40 years until 1994.

    While the GOP did so much gloating after that win, it’s amazing it took them so long.

    In U.S. history we mostly see parties gain long eras of dominance.

    After the Dems routed the Federlaists in 1800-Jefferson-they took the White House 56 of the next 60 years.

    Then came Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, and the Civil War. The GOP then dominated the next 72 years-till 1932.

    In that time the GOP won the Presidency 56 out of 72 years, and had the WH with both Houses of Congress 42 out of 72 years.

    Then came 1932. The Dems then dominated the next 36 years-having all three Houses 28 out of 36 years-the only Repub was Dwight who was basically a moderate Democrat anyway as far as people like Buckley were concerned.

    Then came 1968. Kevin Phillips wrote his prophetic book “The Emerging Republican Majority.”

    Yet he was only half right-of course he’s long since left his own party-as the Repubs were able to win 5 of 6 Presidential elections but not congress. They won Congress in 1994, but by then the Dems had figured out how to win the Presidency again.

    So post-1968 has been unusual in that the parties have fought to a rough parity each trying to get an elusive advantage.

    Still Jim, your comment that “Yes indeed, but this is completely bipartisan behavior. It is how the political system works with everybody “” not a unique character flaw of one party or the other.” suggests that every difference between the parties can just be chalked up to “both sides do it” or “a pox on both your houses.”

    I found that piece by Ezra Klein interesting where he said that the trouble is that the media thinks that to be fair they should criticize and praise both parties about an equal amount but that the reality is the GOP lies a heck of a lot more.

    Now maybe you feel that’s impossible, but how can you assume before hand that both sides are exactly equal in all thing-in correctness and honesty? After all the democratic system is based on the idea that there is a difference or something to choose from between them. There’s no logical reason why during certain periods of time one party can’t be more on the right side of history than the other so to speak.

    In 1860 that Repubs were clearly on the right side. Then it was the opposite in 1932. You can look at it as the country decided the Dems were to blame for the Civil War and slavery and so they were in the wilderness for 72 years. Then the GOP was blamed for the recession.

    The trouble is I don’t think we’ve left the pattern started in 1932. The GOP has held positions that are only supported by the minority of the American people since that time.

    I mean the New Deal legacy-SS, Medicare, minimum wage laws, the end to child labor-all of this is a Dem legacy. Most Americans believe in these things. So in that sense the GOP is very smart you have to say. Because what I’m saying about them holding views out of step with the majority-they know this. They know that no one supports ending the New Deal and that’s what they want.

    There’s a case to be made that the GOP has a tough road ahead of it. It’s not just me saying this either. Again read Pat Buchanan if you can only believe what those who aren’t liberal Democrats say. Pat’s many things but liberal aint one of them.


    If I were going to give you the more optimistic case for the GOP it’s how comparatively successful they have been over the last 44 years. They’ve fought to a draw-wining roughly 1 out of every 2 elections on all levels of government-and yet their views are mostly very unpopular. So I hope Buchana’s fears come true but the GOP has pulled it off before.

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. September 2012 at 17:13

    Saturos, I don’t support the British system, which is winner take all. I prefer proportional representation, more like the European countries.

    Jim Glass. I don’t believe all those “independents.” In the old days politics was fought between the 40 yard lines. Now we fight between the 45 yard lines. There are no longer any landslides. Try to imagine a Presidential candidate carrying 49 states like Nixon and Reagan, or even as many as LBJ got. Reagan won Massachusetts—twice!! Now each candidate, no matter how pathetic, will win 15 to 20 states minimum.

    The filibuster might have been helpful when we were trying to prevent big government. But now we have it–it’s too late. And the filibuster stops us from reforming that big government.

  20. Gravatar of Saturos Saturos
    4. October 2012 at 02:35

    Whoops, I forgot. We call it the “Westminster system” but of course ours is better than theirs.

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