Election 2020

I thought this thread was about probabilities. Now we are in my old stomping grounds, poly sci.
Y’know, I’d also thought that this thread was about Probability (even after its promotion to ‘General Thread’), but naively hadn’t realized that uncertainty had been already squeezed out of the Election 2020 process by well-funded, well-coordinated efforts to “fortify the outcome”. Live and learn, c'est la vie...

From a poly-sci standpoint, does eliminating uncertainty in elections “protect democracy”..? Asking for a friend.

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How would you rate the 'uncertainty' on this?

The 'worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War(4/29)gotta love the lady on the left, having the time of her life ... obviously a 'domestic terrorist'.

UPDATE (5/16): Turns out, Capitol Police allowed the protesters to enter the building, as they promised a ‘peaceful assembly’. Here’s a reflection on, and assessment of, that tragic day.​

As far as ‘attacks’ go, we should be thankful that these evasive extraterrestrial tourists are only here visiting … for now.

Perhaps aliens vaporized his 81-million voting supporters … or maybe they all just stayed home, enjoying their Bidenbucks… (5/6)

"Take us to your leader..."

Apparently, our government – always on the lookout for dangerous distractions incursions – now wants to concern us with Unidentified Flying Objects (5/19; solid reason to be skeptical). With everything getting weirder and weirder (5/23), perhaps we’re just relying on the Wisdom of the Crowd Mob in our pathforward to Build Back Better.
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No cake for spunky
Democracy probably will not exist much longer in the US barring major changes.

It requires too much effort that the public will no longer provide.

Much of the public no longer participates and those that do hate each other to much for democracy to survive.

A non-authoritarian system can not survive when compromise is impossible and violence is inherent in the system. We are too angry to do anything.

Legitimacy of the political system and government it relies on has largely collapsed.

The economic changes of the last 40 years mean the middle and lower class no longer have influence in the US. Elections are too expensive. They have generated tremendous anger by those displaced by the changes. This is much like the replacement of small farmers (that were the backbone of the Roman republic) by slave labor. This destroyed the republic, it is destroying our system as well.

So democracy is probably finished. Hail Hydra. :p


Ambassador to the humans
To be fair noetsi doesn't remember most of what we say so I wouldn't take their opinion on how things will play out too seriously :p


No cake for spunky
It is always dangerous to let history guide you too much. But in this case history is a bit scary. Listening to people now reminds me too much of what I remember from the 1850's.
So democracy is probably finished.
I’m afraid that you’re right. But now, there’s more direct ways to apply leverage than the obsolete ballot box to get what you want ... since who wants to revisit the convoluted, confusing fairy tale that was Election 2020 (2/19).

Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy ... a thoughtful dissertation on today’s mob mentality and ‘cancel culture’ destroying liberalism (by Bari Weiss, ex-NYTimes, 3/2).

Talk about a wacky anti-free-speech ‘conspiracy’ … fun with censorship at irreverent Urban Dictionary, of all places: #BlueAnon (3/8, background here), coming #SuperStraight at you. We must be vigilant in these matters, so remember: You gotta to fight for your right … to parody.

Beyond parody: Meghan Markle reportedly networking with Democrats, eyes bid for US president (3/14). She does have interview skills.

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With the unwinding of democracy and free speech, you better watch what you think and especially say, since “dissent will be deemed dangerous and above all false. It will not be engaged with or rationally debated. It will be erased from public view. There will be an inviolable, official reality. Any deviation from official reality or defiance of the civil authorities will be labelled extremism, and dealt with accordingly”. (emphasis his, 5/3)

Fun with martial ammunition? France's top military officials agree with their retired brass that Macron’s anti-racism policies are endangering the fabric of French society (5/10).

Fun with oligarchical ambition: How does Election 2020 resemble the Beyond Meat campaign? (5/13)

Fun with organizational devolution: Systemic Crisis (5/19)

Fun with communicational devolution: What’s a guy gotta do to get banned these days..?!? (6/2)

Fun with constitutional devolution: “The only conspiracy here is by the left to deprive their political opponents of their Constitutional rights.” Folks that were taken in by the ‘Big Lie’ and allegedly conspired in the horrific Capitol Insurrection -- the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War! – are being denied due process under the law (6/5). Even when damage is minimal, attacks on capitols are very very serious, and require harsh government punishment, even if it trends unconstitutional … somewhere, Adolf and his pals are smiling.

Fun with communal repugnance: For those that don’t like Trump, here’s a comprehensive review of voluminous vitriol (6/10).

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Q: What’s the probability that the 25th Amendment gets invoked?

The New York Times reports on Biden’s decision-making style, labeling it ‘Socratic’ … rather than saying he’s over-his-head, confused and frustrated (5/14, NYT paywall; more here and here).
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#MABA ... Make America Bet Again on Presidential Elections

Americans have always loved to bet each other on upcoming events. Before the rise of organized team-sports leagues, betting on politics – especially Presidential elections -- was the game-in-town, outside the occasional boxing or wrestling match.

A paper on Historical Presidential Betting Markets (Rhode and Strumpf, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2004) reviews betting on Presidential elections from 1868 to 1940, back when pencil-and-paper and a telegraph (or newfangled 'telephone') were used to record and relay results, before the rise of instant mass communication and automation. This excerpt captures Americans’ collective enthusiasm in betting on who’s gonna be the next Prez:

The betting quotes filled the demand for accurate odds from a public widely interested in wagering on elections. In this age before mass communication technologies reached into America’s living rooms, election nights were highly social events, comparable to New Year’s Eve or major football games. In large cities, crowds filled restaurants, hotels, and sidewalks in downtown areas where newspapers and brokerage houses would publicize the latest returns and people with sporting inclinations would wager on the outcomes. Even for those who could not afford large stakes, betting in the run-up to elections was a cherished ritual. A widely-held value was that one should be prepared to “back one’s beliefs” either with money or more creative dares.

Betting was so popular -- and political campaigns so efficient, apparently -- that the money wagered on the elections often rivaled the amount of total Presidential-campaign spending, nationwide. With Woodrow Wilson’s reelection in 1916, betting in New York alone was over 2X that of campaign spending (see below).


From a dog-that-did-not-bark standpoint, it is interesting that in this comprehensive overview, there were NO references to the underlying integrity of the election being questioned by either Party nor by the bettors. In contrast, with Election 2020, BOTH sides were concerned with election-result integrity: one side preemptively, the other side after the fact*.

* Keeping current with our new 'facts' ... since 2 + 2 = 5, et al, nowadays, it's unsurprising to learn that 46 = 44, as well as government bankruptcy is for the public good. Plus, ‘It takes a village’ to avert erroneous massive destruction (2/25; more here). A fortifying team effort, all around. Refreshing to have some quiet competence in the White House these days (more here) ... after all, America certainly was in dire need of a ‘transition (more transitioning here).
In your quest for 'facts': Does the constant flood of 24/7 news-chatter cloud your perspective? Relax, it’s all the same story over and over and over, where only the details change (3/2): The rich and powerful becoming more rich and more powerful.

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He's orange, rested and readyWhy America Will Want Trump Back in the White House (3/5), assuming he sidesteps the clumsy “damnatio memoriae” (4/1; or, alternatively, 4-8 years more here) … or perhaps a side-door back into the House in 2022, as that would be ‘so interesting’.
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