Splitting this off from the discussion because it’s long, @c4bl3fl4m3

The most important thing to understand is that politics operates on more than a four year window. For the fringes to make an impact on the exercise of power they have to take that longer view. Not voting for Hillary doesn’t mean we’ll get neither Hillary nor Trump.

But continuing to vote for a party that claims to represent the doves while they continue to pursue wars of choice and make privacy a memory shuts you out of politics. If there’s nothing the democrats can do that won’t cost them your vote then they can safely ignore you. Ask all the liberals that clucked their tongues at every Glenn Greenwald column of the last eight years and voted Obama anyway.

Establishment democrats usually like to talk about electability when it comes to primary season. It’s a winning strategy, and a smart rhetorical tactic. But it is only such because the American left has been sister souljahed into submission enough times that they’ll fall in line for any milquetoast centrist the dems come up with.

The only thing they understand is power, and all cynicism aside, that comes from votes. We won’t see real change until democrats start losing elections over, say, executing 16 year old American citizens without trial and shredding the fourth amendment.

I’m sympathetic to your argument here, but I don’t actually know how to make Democrats lose elections over that issue, given that the Republicans and the half of the country that votes for them aren’t against those things either. What’s the specific electoral strategy here, given the way our voting system currently works?

I get what you mean, but I will continue voting for them so long as they continue to be less horrible than the other major party. I disagree with republicans on nearly every major question, and the stuff they openly advocate tends to include:

– torture

– homophobia

– tribalism

– harsh jail sentences for drug use

– restrictions on abortion and contraception

– ignoring climate change

– all the things that make the Democratic Party bad

Unless something major changes or a third party becomes relevant my voting patterns are not going to change

To paraphrase the Great Yud, vote for the best party, yes even if they’re not going to win because they’re small. Voting R/D to keep out D/R will keep getting you the same thing again and again.

To use numbers, imagine all political parties are bad on a scale of 1-10.

On 3, we have the small third party that won’t win. On 9, we have one major party. On 10, we have the other.

If you vote for the 9 to avoid the 10, and next election for the 9 to avoid the 10, and next election for the 9 to avoid the 10, you may have avoided the unpleasantness of the 10, but you’re getting the unpleasantness of the 9 permanently. The only ways to get it better than “permanently terrible” is to vote for the 3. When the 9 has lost several consecutive elections they could have won if the 3 had voted for them, they will stop running “You could have voted for us and avoided the 10″ campaigns and instead change to actually get the votes.

YES this gets you a couple of election cycles worth of 10. YES this is terrible. But twenty years of 10 followed by twenty years of 5 is a superior outcome to forty years of 9.

EDIT: This is driven mainly by the fact that the exact list of things you want to avoid in the Republican party is found in the Democratic party, with the exception of the restriction on abortion, which is replaced with restrictions on free speech and firearms instead.

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