US Election: Choosing your candidate

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by bostjan, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I'm curious. How do you folks choose the presidential candidate to support? How much of it is based upon platform, versus what is based upon personality and maybe some other factors?

    I don't think anyone chooses merely based upon one thing or the other. I mean, a candidate with a platform that matches your personal beliefs 100%, but is a complete ignorant fool is less likely to get your support than someone who 99% agrees but is well-spoken and has their act together, right?

    So here is a chart. Check it out. It compares platforms. It doesn't seem to be 100% up to date (still lists Sanders), but I think it should still give some idea.

    I've seen other sites where there is a lot of support for Trump in the comments, but not a lot of support when it comes down to people clicking "like."

    There's already a thread on here for discussing Trump's chances, though. But these threads always meander in scope. I just wanted to start with a general discussion about how you choose a candidate to support. I doubt anyone will come here to consider changer his or her mind about supporting a candidate, so I don't intend to go there.
     
  2. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    Personality is out the window as I have seen nothing noteworthy nor sincere in many many years of presidential hopefuls nor elected govt officials. Washington is as corrupt as it possibly could be and honest intentions are lost along the way.

    Platforms mean nothing either. Platforms crumble like rotted hollow particle-board. Campaigns are cringe-worthy popularity contests with enough hot air to fill a billion balloons. A willingness to cave to special interests is the norm in this country.

    I personally have lost all faith in all those that make it to the top tier. I have absolutely no more faith in either party in regards to sticking to "promises" and serving for the good of the people. No ideals, no integrity and I see potentially no change on the horizon.

    Don't jump on me... just one lowly dudes opinion.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    No worries. I think many people share exactly that opinion.

    Do you think you will vote third party, not at all, or write in something?
     
  4. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Platform is important, but practicality and an strategy come into play as well. The candidate has to be able to work with congress in order to actually accomplish their goals and be a good fit to work with the various international political leaders/personalities in furthering foreign policy goals.

    Someone with a great platform but no ability to affect the required change is pretty useless.
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Sure. How does one judge how well a candidate will work with congress, though, particularly during an election in which much of congress is getting elected at the same time as the president?
     
  6. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    Who: Vermin Supreme

    Why: Most competent person running.
     
  7. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Most politicians running for office have held office before, so looking into their past ability to work with others is an indicator. So is their personality, at least to the extent that we actually get to see their true personality. Comments from people they've worked with in the past may be better indicators than the public persona they portray for the cameras. But everyone has a past history and it is becoming easier and easier to dig that information up with today's technology.

    Likewise, context is important, too. What type of problems need addressing? If we are at war, we may need a different leader than if we are negotiating free trade agreements while at peace. And a stubborn ideologue may be the perfect leader to drive through certain types of change, but absolutely the wrong leader to create other types of change.
     
  8. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    In practice, the incumbency reelection rate in Congress is very high, so this doesn't matter as much as one might think - barring extraordinary events, the Congress after the election is going to look a lot like the Congress preceding the election.
     
  9. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    I have a set of absolute lines drawn that a candidate cannot cross and still receive my support. It's mostly the usual left social stuff (support for LGBT rights, abortion rights, robust safety nets, etc). As a practical matter that leaves me with Democrats or a random smattering of independent/third party candidates. The Dems support a whole bunch of things I'm strongly against, not but strongly enough to push me to their abhorrent Republican counterparts (who believe only in things I hate). I don't vote third party - those candidates are usually not properly vetted and exist more as protest votes. Johnson and Stein, for example, are just for people who want to be angry at the system rather than serious people.

    So I'm boxed into Dems. I learned this year that primaries require far more thought and are harder to differentiate than general elections.
     
  10. abeigor

    abeigor SS.org Regular

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    Can't vote R because they've veered so far right that it's become comical. Can't vote D because this particular candidate's lapses in judgement would have gotten a normal federal employee demoted or suspended. I like Johnson because he has government experience at a high administrative level, and isn't in outer space ideologically.
    I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror after election day, whatever the outcome.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I'm pretty close to this, too - on social issues, the GOP is in favor of too many things - restricted marriage rights, restricted abortion rights, and with a tendency to veer towards the xenophobic on issues ranging from criminal policy, immigration, drug policy, etc, so right off the bat, the GOP is off the table (even if they ran a moderate, I'd be worried about what a non-moderate Congress would do with a moderate Republican White House). I'd love to have a viable second party in the United States, but the modern GOP is socially reactionary.

    After that, it's just a matter of what candidate's policies are closer to my beliefs. I'm a social liberal but pretty centrist economically, pro-free-trade, ok with lowering corporate taxes if we can get higher personal tax brackets out of the deal, pro-market, pro-regulation but only provided it's done with an eye on not unduly interfering with a functioning free market, and concerned with the economic impact of things like changes in tax policy and minimum wage (in favor of increasing, but carefully). Basically, I want a healthy, functional, competitive free market, as well as all Americans having unrestricted civil liberties. For the most part that makes me a center-left Democrat.
     
  12. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    Of course the Dems tend to veer sharply authoritarian when it suits them - block gun sales to no fly list, trade policies, drone strikes with impunity, going against reporters, etc. But it's okay because it's "our team" so none of the liberals call them on it. I hate that, and it's a big piece of the anti-Clinton sentiment.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So what do you do if one of the mainstream candidates has a voting record standing up for things with which you disagree, and the other mainstream candidate has no public service experience, and they are both sociopaths?

    Sadly, this is true. Most people complain constantly about congress, then go and stand in line to vote for president, and "Oh yeah, congressman Whatshisface is running, better check that box, too..." Or else they just hate the congressmen in every district other than their own.

    I think that's precisely what Johnson and Stein don't want you to think, but then, they do play into that, I agree. I find that I agree with their platforms, myself, much more closely than Clinton or Trump (I might actually only agree with Trump 10% of the time, which may be a record low :lol: )

    I am heavily leaning toward Johnson. I've identified as a left-leaning libertarian for a long time, and typically vote that way. I took a reprieve to support Obama, since he said a lot of things I liked and I assessed him as a Washington outsider who could shake things up.

    Also, voting for someone who ends up winning ends up being a bit of a extra disappointment when that candidate becomes the elected official who disappoints you. There may be a psychological safety net for me voting for Johnson, since I am 99.9% certain he won't win the election, but:

    A) I don't vote for a candidate who will win and subsequently become one of the bottom six worst presidents ever.
    B) The Libertarian Party might get a better budget for future stuff.
    C) I feel like I "stuck it to 'em" by not giving my vote to another slimeball.

    It seems no one with a moderate attitude can make enough news for anyone to care. It seems to me like the latest culture of low attention span sound bites and sensationalism has pitted people Red vs Blue against each other. In a time when the USA should be most united to struggle against the common enemy of a stagnant economy and a move to squeeze individual liberties from both sides of the aisle, a little unity would go a long way. Alas, whoever is elected will likely be stonewalled anyway. Oh well.

    From your description, it makes you sound more like a left libertarian than a moderate democrat.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Except, those are things I'm broadly pretty ok with. I'd love to see gun control laws expanded - I'd prefer universal background checks to blocking sales to the no fly list, and I think the Democrats chose the wrong bill to fight for, but at the end of the day, almost anything is a step in the last direction. I'm totally pro free trade (which I think I may have mentioned) and I see that as less "authoritarian" than "free market." I'm also pretty cool with expanding the use of drones, as an alternative to boots on the ground - not "with impunity," but with the same controls on their use that we would on any other use of force. Fewer American soldiers overseas and in harms way is a good thing, I think. I don't know what exactly you're referring to with "going against reporters," and I think there's tremendous value in a functional free press - they should be held to some standard for accuracy and integrity, same as any other profession, but other than not letting them just make stuff up, they're an incredibly important part of a democracy.

    I think the line between those two gets a little blurry. The libertarian party in the States tends to lean towards the right, and favor market solutions over social legislation - see Rand Paul saying he was opposed to the Civil Rights Act because he thinks private businesses should have been able to sort it out on their own - so libertarian candidates tend to fail my social issue litmus test.

    Over and above that, though, I tend to advocate carefully constructed market controls that are implemented with an aim on improving overall social and economic good - for example, minimum wage policies that explicitly take into account their impact not just on wage inequality but also inflation - and probably lean way too technocratic to be a libertarian, which is why I think I come down more as a center-left Democrat than a left-wing libertarian; I think the role of government is to align the market with overall social and economic growth, rather than let it run unobstructed. But, again, there's definitely a gray area in there.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Rand Paul is a Republican. My dad always makes the same equivalency, that Libertarian Party = libertarianish/tea party branch of the GOP. I guess that just plays to your point that the political spectrum is a continuous fabric, rather than nice little neat boxes.
     
  16. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metalâ„¢

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    I think you're on to something here. :yesway:
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Rand Paul is an a-hole. I refuse to categorize him any further than that. :lol:
     
  18. FEcorvus

    FEcorvus SS.org Regular

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    I tend to land somewhere on the upper middle part of the Nolan chart, I believe that personal freedom is the most important thing of all, so I'm inclined to agree that, as long as it comes at no one else's expense, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want, I'm for in general the will of the constituency being done, theoretically in a "true democracy" it shouldn't matter who we elect, they would choose the same options

    that said I think that government is important for protecting the peace and order of society, but that the federal government is too powerful and general purpose blanket policies governing everyone are rediculous, what works in one place may not be ideal for another, cultures are different in different areas and I'd rather just see state governments regulate their laws for domestic issues, if you don't like your laws, move somewhere that more politically aligns with you, federal government be responsible for handling national security, military actions, and other federal wide issues

    it isn't perfect but with the way it works now it's winner takes all and a majority get what they want but a solid majority is usually 60 percent at most, this system would theoretically bump that up to a higher number of people being involved in the Democratic process and actually living under the laws they prefer

    I would think so anyway, someone tell me if I done goofed and overlooked some obvious flaw
     
  19. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    I fail to understand how you guys can spend that much time discussing who's likely gonna 'win' and now choosing a candidate.

    Hillary has long since been pre-selected to 'win', owned by the banksters as she is.
    Oh well, given that she's been heading OFC/OFR for so long, at least you'll get some sort of a president - for the first time since Bush senior (not at all that I liked him).
    Hillary will be made president, and there will be more wars.

    But oh well.. this is code of conduct across much of the western world anyways.
    My country is decently akin to the same mechanisms, as in does anyone think there's any real life difference between red and blue block in DK.. Except that we at least doesn't have the same Big Money involved in election campaigns.
     
  20. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    You are right. Our corporate owners are feeding us soundbites like a bad WWE showdown.

    They will install Hillary. Nothing will stand in their way.
     

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