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Samizdata quote of the day

Though many things have changed in American political life over the past couple of years, one aspect remains a comforting constant: Democrats never lose an election. Not really. Not fairly.

Sure, elections can be stolen. Americans can be misled. Big Oil or Big Business can buy elections – because these institutions possess the preternatural ability to control human actions. Voter always fail to understand what’s good for them (which, amazingly enough, always aligns with the state-expanding goals of the Left.) Whatever the case, something fishy and nefarious must also be going on, because there’s absolutely no way voters could reject Democrats.

David Harsanyi

28 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    And yet, despite the comforting illusion of choice, the state keeps expanding. Maybe both parties are Democrat- the Reps are Lite Democrats, and the Democrats are the real, undiluted, product? It would be amusing if we discovered that they were both wings of one statist party! Though I don’t think the laughs would last for long…


  • Sam Duncan

    Everyone’s favourite* techno sooper-jenius Moby has it all figured out. See, Americans are really Democrats:

    Maybe this bender will finally convince Americans to stop voting for Republicans. Because they are terrible. There has always been an understanding that if everyone in America voted, there would be no Republican politicians. The reason Republicans win is that most Americans don’t vote.

    Of course! If all those idiots who were too dumb to see how utterly, utterly, frightful the Republicans are had got up off their stupid fat arses and done their patriotic duty then those idiots who were too dumb to vote the right way would have been outvoted! It all makes sense now. You idiots. Why can’t you all be as smart as Moby? (Because then there’d be nobody left to buy his records.)

    By the way, I just love the self-delusion going on here:

    Those of us on the left who were brought up to be tolerant of people who had different opinions from us – well that’s great, ­unless the opinions are bigoted and wrong. If someone is a climate-change denier, they are wrong. If someone voted for Brexit, they are wrong. If someone voted for Trump, they are wrong. There is a lot of ambiguity in the world, but not about these things.

    Got that? He’s, like, totally tolerant and stuff. As long as you don’t disagree with him, ‘cos that’s just wrong, okay?

    In truth, I can understand how someone who believes Trump is Literally Hitler (just like Romney, McCain, Bush, Reagan, and Nixon, before the Strange New Respect kicked in) might consider voting for him to be unconscionable, and I can see how someone who’s fallen for the junk science of AGW might think scepticism is objectively wrong. It’s idiotic and sinister but, like socialism, I can follow the flawed logic that gets people there. But Brexit? So… if it were proposed that the United States enter into political union with the rest of the Americas under a pseudo-democratic system in which the majority of its laws never even see an elected representative, he’d be just fine with that?

    Well, of course he would. Because, just like the buggers who set the damn thing up, he thinks it would be run by good people like himself in the name of decency and Tolerance. And, best of all, those dumb voters could never stick their stupid noses in and spoil it.

    *Or, er, not.

  • Stonyground

    “If someone is a climate-change denier, they are wrong.”

    At a superficial level this is actually true. The climate changes, this is an indisputable fact, so anyone who says that it doesn’t is wrong by definition. The problem is that the people that this idiot describes as climate change deniers don’t deny that the climate changes. The argument isn’t about whether or not the climate changes, it is about how much and why.

  • Cal Ford

    Funny how these supposed deep thinkers in the music world all sound like every other second-year BA student.

  • Cal Ford

    I expect Moby *is* tolerant of some beliefs he disagrees with, as long as they are expressed by Islamic fundamentalists and third-world dictators.

  • Paul Marks

    I am no friend of Mr Trump – indeed I campaigned against him for a year. However, this campaign to “delegitimise” his election is an outrage.

    Talk of “Russian hacking” is being used to distract attention for Clinton Campaign (and general Democrat) corruption – mostly revealed by “leaks” not “hacks”. For example the DNC (Democratic National Committee) rigged the primary process for Mrs Clinton (no one has gone to prison or even been charged over this), the “mainstream media” fed Mrs Clinton the questions in debates in-advance – and Democrats (including senior members of the Clinton Campaign) were recorded by the hidden cameras of “Project Veritas” openly boasting of rigging-the-ballot in the major cities – so much for the “popular vote”, again no one has been sent to prison or even charged and the media COVER UP the corruption. The Economist magazine and the rest of the “mainstream media” are totally indifferent to the corruption of the Democrats in general and the Clinton Campaign in general (indeed they try desperately to cover-it-up) – instead it is just “the Russians…..” as if the Russians were feeding the candidates debate questions in advance and rigging the ballot in the major cities.

    Even the massive corruption of the Clinton Foundation was basically ignored by the “mainstream media” – even though Mrs Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself and her associates and family (if a Republican did this they would be sent to prison).

    As for money – the Clinton campaign outspent the Trump campaign by more two to one – have the Russian mines run out of gold? Or were “the Russians” not financing the Trump campaign at all? Indeed it was Mrs Hillary Clinton (not Donald Trump) who did massive financial deals with Mr Putin (bad for Rex T. – but O.K. for the Clintons) – yet the media just cover it up. Indeed all the media (with the exception of that tiny MINORITY of the media owned by Mr Murdoch – no wonder the left are fanatically determined to destroy Mr Murdoch) acted as simply an extension of the Democrats.

    Think about that – on top of a more than a billion Dollars (mostly from Wall Street – those Federal Reserve welfare dependents in thousand Dollar suits) the Democrats had every non-Murdoch media source on their side – P.B.S., ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and so on, as well as almost every newspaper attacking Mr Trump every single day.

    And almost every university was encouraging their students to vote Democrat – and persecuting any student who supported Mr Trump. Even the schools were (and are) teaching the children that the Democrats represent good – and that Mr Trump and Republicans generally are evil.

    And the Democrats still lost.

    The entire establishment elite (including the education system) was on one side – and they still lost.

    And they do not accept it – they just carry on and on.

    Time to strike back. For example time to demand proof of I.D. for voting.

    Only Kansas actually requires proof of citizenship before someone votes – the courts have so far blocked other States from doing so.

    Socialist ruled France (as Antoine Clarke will confirm) demands proper I.D. before voting – so should American States.

    No more illegal immigrant voting. And no more bussing the same people to multiple polling booths to vote multiple times. And no more absentee ballot fraud. Time to end the “vote early and vote OFTEN” Democratic Party.

  • That’s a great article!

  • Tarrou

    Mr. Marks has the right of it.

    The election was rigged, massively. The riggers just lost. Think of what a great and wonderful lesson we have been taught, between Brexit and Trump. The particulars of what people were voting for aside, it has proved, decisively, that absolutely everything that we thought matters in elections, doesn’t. The only thing that matters is votes, and the people have them, and even with every single last bit of the establishment of all political sides, the media, entertainment, business and finance against them, they can still find their voice. I may not agree with their choice all the time, but I am hugely heartened that our systems can produce these results.

  • Bod

    If Mr. Trump achieves nothing else I value during his presidency, I would congratulate him if introduced federal guidelines which encouraged states to hold fair and honest elections. I see this as a valid function of the federal government in that it ensures that a vote from Kansas has the same weight as a vote from California.

    Three relatively simple measures would make voting in the US more (if not totally) honest:

    1. Eliminate postal and early balloting. If a citizen wishes to exercise their franchise, turn up. Inevitably, some people won’t be able to exercise their rights. If that’s unacceptable to the legislatures, mandate that every postal vote is duly notarized. Leave it up to the states if they adopt methods to have notaries public to offer this service pro bono.

    2. Buy a lot of purple dye and ensure every voter dips his finger after pulling the handle.

    3. If electronic voting systems are used, each use generates a serialized receipt for the voter. The voter xerself is responsible for ensuring that their receipt matches their choice.

    Back this up by holding states’ AGs responsible for lapses in prosecution of election fraud.

    In the case of the DNC, they should be permitted to hold their secret ballots in any way they see fit. Their responsibility is to select their candidate. As far as I’m concerned, they could do it by rock/paper/scissors or via hors de combat, although I’d have thought that they really ought to be somewhat democratic, if only to be in accord with their name.

  • Laird

    I like Bod’s post, if not necessarily in all the details then certainly in the concept. If voting means anything (and I know that there are those who don’t think it does) then it needs to be protected. The current systems (each state is somewhat different) have been so corrupted (mostly by Democrats more interested in votes than in the political health of the nation) that it is a national disgrace. No other country on the planet is so cavalier about who it permits to have a say in the selection of its political leadership. That needs to change.

    Somewhat off-topic but (I think) still germane, the whole alleged vote fraud thing has highlighted one additional virtue of our electoral college system of selecting a President. Without going into the history and philosophy behind that excellent system (which I could do but will forbear; that’s for another thread), its existence makes it much more difficult to rig presidential elections. You would have to do it in a number of states to be successful, and that’s a tall order. You could rig, say, the California election and give all its 39 million votes to one candidate, but he’s still only going to get its 55 electoral votes. Unfortunately that doesn’t help with fraud in the down-ticket races, but it’s still important.

  • No other country on the planet is so cavalier about who it permits to have a say in the selection of its political leadership…

    Perhaps no other First World country 😉

  • I think climate changes, though not so fast as weather. I strongly suspect people have something to do about it. What I disagree with is the panicky shouts of “it’s a catastrophe!” when it comes to somewhat shorter and warmer winters.

    And I also note, whatever the danger predicted, that the solution is always “Live more modestly! Vote the statists in! Give us your money, and do as we say!” That’s the cry now, for Global Climate Change. It was the cry a decade ago for Global Warming. Half a century ago, it was the solution to Global Cooling. And I suspect it was the solution a thousand years ago and more, to the coming of the Millennium. (There weren’t many voters back then, but there was the occasional Elector. And the call to “live modestly and give us your money” didn’t much impact the average peasant.)

    The only valid predictive panic I’ve seen was the Y2K problem. It had a simple and obvious cause and date of effect, and very little political content.

    If the cry is “vote us in and give us your money”, it’ll take more evidence than usual to convince me. And that is why I’m an evil heretic who must be silenced: I don’t want to do that. I’m dissing people who Obviously Know Better and Have My Best Interests At Heart.

  • Arr. I indeed commented on the comment I replied to. But it didn’t have much to do with the main subject. The only part that was truly responsive was

    I’m dissing people who Obviously Know Better and Have My Best Interests At Heart.

    That suggests I don’t know what was good for me, and I should not have voted. Obviously, then, the Democrats should have won the election. In the best of all possible worlds they would have; therefore, there was something wrong with the results.

    It also suggest reply chains aren’t the best of ideas. Your mileage may vary.

  • Rob

    You never beat the Democrats, you only score more points than them.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Aside from thanking Paul for his excellent comment, I congratulate him on his knowledge of how correctly to add the -ing suffix to the word “bus” (if one MUST use it as a verb).Namely, where the verb ends with a single short vowel (here, “u”) followed by a single consonant and nothing else, one DOUBLES the final consonant before adding the suffix. Thus, also, suffixes -ed (so, “bussed”) and, if one must, -er denoting an actor: (“the busser”), though in this case I’ve never seen the construction.

    Of course, there is also the word “buss,” as in “He gave her a quick buss and loped off to work.” “Buss” is also a verb, and for the length of said brief buss, our loper could quite rightly be called a busser.

    It’s only by doubling the ending consonant that one knows that the proper pronounciation is “combatting” with a short “a” vowel, rather then comBAYting, as the spelling “combating” demands. Similarly for many other words, including for instance “traveller” and “worshipped.” Or “jewellery.” So forth.

    Thanks for getting it right, Paul, and thus also for giving me the opportunity to lecture upon this topic. 😉

  • Bod

    Once more we’re schooled on grammar, spelling, and we should also concede – Style – from Chicago of all places.

  • the other rob

    Leave it up to the states if they adopt methods to have notaries public to offer this service pro bono.

    In my small town in Texas, the necessary state action would amount to sweet FA. It’s not Paradise – there are plenty of venal notaries here who would jump at the chance of a government check.

    But there are as many, if not more, who would simply see it as their duty. Or a marketing opportunity. Either way, that’s how we win.

  • Bod

    I don’t disagree. There’s nothing intrinsically unjust in incurring a small cost like paying a notary public for the service – I see it as no different from having to pay for public transportation to the polling place in order to vote.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Glad not to disappoint by keeping my lectures to myself, bod. 😉

    Actually, thanks to the Samizdatistas in general for putting up with my diversions on language.

    . . .

    Moving back to the topic, thanks to all for the excellent comments, with almost all of which “it is difficult to disagree.”

  • Laird

    Julie, everyone knows that “bussing” is spelled with two “s”es!

  • Mr Ed

    Here in England, I swore an oath recently for a legal matter before a notary, there is a statutory fee of £7, just under $9 USD. The fee is rigged low, but then again, the market for notaries is rigged narrow by the law, so IMHO it cancels out, and the notary gets a shop window to a potential client. No reason why those overseas on military service should have to pay, the US military does not lack lawyers who could do something useful. For the rest, get organised, it’s not as if elections for the Presidency are sprung on people.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Hmmm. You got a point there, Laird! 😀

  • Sam Duncan

    “3. If electronic voting systems are used, each use generates a serialized receipt for the voter. The voter xerself is responsible for ensuring that their receipt matches their choice.”

    Not good enough. (The voter can check that the receipt matches his choice, but how can he – or anyone, for that matter – ensure that it matches what was actually counted? Simple answer: he can’t.) And, frankly, all this applies almost as much to mechanical voting machines too.

    Paper ballots, marked in pencil, posted in sealed boxes, taken, publicly, to counting halls, opened and counted in full view of everyone. It’s the only way. And, no, it’s still not perfect.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Bod, December 14, 2016 at 12:17 am:

    Thank you very much for noticing.

    (Signed) Kate Turabian, authoress of A Chicago Manual of Style ;>)

  • bobby b

    “Paper ballots, marked in pencil, posted in sealed boxes, taken, publicly, to counting halls, opened and counted in full view of everyone. It’s the only way. And, no, it’s still not perfect.”

    This would be ideal.

    Problem is, we get this mental picture of a pile of small square ballots upon which we’ve marked our choice between two or three candidates, allowing to the counters to glance at the ballot and then place it on top of the correct pile. Simple, straightforward.

    But . . . the ballot I was given for this last election asked me to mark my choices for over eighty separate questions. Not only did I pick a presidential candidate, I picked federal-office candidates, state-office candidates, county-office candidates, city-office candidates, judges, commissioners for this and that, school board members, park district reps, and more, plus I chose sides on several ballot initiative questions.

    The hand-counting of several hundred million such ballots for all of those choices would be staggeringly unmanageable.

    Maybe a hybrid system would work – our normal computer-counted ballots for most choices, with a small, special hand-marked paper ballot for president and senator and house representatives.

  • Alisa

    Bobby, what you just described is too much government, which is a separate and much more serious problem – but of course you already knew that.

  • Laird

    bobby b, where I live we have all those same officials to elect (well, maybe not quite as many as you, but a lot) but we deal with most of them by simply having them run unopposed. That occurs with something like 80% of the seats up for “election”. Sure saves on counting!