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Thu Sep 24, 2020, 06:18 PM

America is the Holy Roman Empire of the 21st century

Germany is today a first-rank power: rich, strong, and efficiently governed. But just over 200 years ago, most of its current territory was a shambolic mess part of the Holy Roman Empire, which even at the time was recognized as an anachronistic political fossil. More than a thousand years old at that point, the empire was a patchwork of hundreds of different duchies, electorates, principalities, kingdoms, church lands, and so forth, some of them just a few dozen acres (Liechtenstein is one of these relics which still survives), with an exceptionally complicated and illogical tangle of legal institutions overlaying them all. Surpassed by history, the confederation was ripe for the picking by an opportunistic tyrant.

The United States today bears an uncomfortable similarity to that doomed empire. The American Constitution is the oldest in the world still operating, and has been obviously out of date for well over a century. Half the basic mechanics of government are either malfunctioning kludges or a gross betrayal of its own founding principles. Countries that fail to maintain themselves to this degree often do not survive.

Let's start with the Electoral College, which has developed a clear bias towards Republicans a 2-3 point Biden popular vote win would mean a tossup according to its rules, while he would need about a 5-point victory to be sure. As I have argued before in detail, this is the goofiest method of selecting a head of government found in any rich nation, and quite possibly in the entire world. Not only has it delivered the presidency to the popular vote loser twice in less than two decades, it is mechanically possible to win while losing the popular vote 4-1. Moreover, its winner-take-all structure means that presidential candidates pay rapt attention to only a handful of states with a close partisan balance. The vast majority of states, both large and small, are virtually ignored by campaigns because their electoral votes can be taken for granted, and, once in office, a president has no obligation to serve the states that didn't vote for him.

As Michael Kazin writes at The Nation, the Electoral College was obviously a clunky mess from the moment its current form took effect, which is why it has nearly been abolished several times (and others are working on it today). None of the defenses of the system by conservatives, who like it because they perceive a momentary partisan advantage, withstand a moment's scrutiny.



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Reply America is the Holy Roman Empire of the 21st century (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Sep 24 OP
ace3csusm Sep 24 #1
Moostache Sep 24 #2

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Sep 24, 2020, 06:36 PM

1. Republicans will change it once they win the popular vote

for President but lose the electoral College and then claim it needs to be changed...But since they will never win popular vote they wont change

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Sep 24, 2020, 06:39 PM

2. The conclusion of that article has the money shot...

A great many holes in America's national fabric have been left un-patched over the decades.

This is true of EVERY aspect of this nation currently.
Race relations?
Basic humanity?
National discourse?

These schisms have been left to fester because we have one party that is dedicated NOT to the proposition that ALL men were created equal, but rather to the idea that government exists only to enforce property rights and enforce contracts, and nothing else.

Greed and hate are the coin of the realm in the GOP.

Trump has always been the symptom and not the disease rotting them from the inside out. He is a particularly nasty case of human dysentery, but still the true disease is their love of power to be used to secure property and to protect it from anyone else or for any other communal or common good usage. They don't want to fix government because for THEM its working pretty fucking great - especially since 1980 on...

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