Every Opinion Counts: Matthew Ady’s “Political Echo Chamber:”

Alex Kajan Nice article!  Ady. Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Alex Kajan I voted for Trump, as did my wife, as did my mom, a 40-year registered Democrat. I know others from Wisconsin, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Colorado who did the same. The success of this country is balance. 8 years of Obama, followed by 8 years of Clinton, followed by a millennial vote could have been a 40-year trend of a singular ideology.

Kwan-chen Ma If you can write up a piece on not who you or why you support, but on the process itself like Ady’s article above. Let’s not go back to argue the merits of each candidate — election is over. I like his way of reflection, but not agree with his points. I would like to post more of the reflection from different angle.

Alex Kajan Agreed

Alex Kajan Why not makes a vote be weighted by the voter’s political IQ? That is a philosophical thought thrown around for centuries, and to this day I can’t understand why it isn’t reasonable.

Alex Kajan Although, I am always interested in hearing the disparity of responses from RGIP working in the same discipline.

Vittorio Fratta Alex Kajan it’s not reasonable because it’s not democratic…

Alex Kajan Agreed but too much democracy and nothing gets done

Vittorio Fratta Alex Kajan it might be, but democracy is the best thing we have come up with yet. And democracy is 1 person, 1 vote.

Alex Kajan Depends on how you define person

Kwan-chen Ma It is very dangerous to going back to the old path to differentiate the quality/validity of each vote. After every election upset, you can always hear “who should not vote, or who should not be allowed to vote because they are not informed …” We came a long way after thousands of years of few peoples’ dictating who “should…” There is no guarantee outcome of any decision. We have to tolerate the risk of any decision. Risk and return.

Charlie Bruin “Grading” voters is not a concept that aligns with the values of this country. We all have to live in this country, we all pay our taxes, and we all deserve an equal say in the direction the country goes. It may serve a short-term stopgap for one’s goals, but this would cause massive unrest and does not support the free and open society we strive for. This, more than anything currently in place, would create a ruling class and a ruled class in America.

Jared Carver  The problem with using a political IQ, aside from its undemocratic exclusionary premise, is how would it be determined? Who is to say what makes a person politically versed? Frequently, people on both sides of the aisle have the notion that people on the opposite side of their aisle believe the way they do because of either stupidity or ignorance. So, if person X doesn’t believe the same way as person Y, they must be too ignorant to vote. Who would decide the metric for this supposed political IQ? That is the danger I see with it. And like Charlie mentioned, from that would stem a ruling class able to lawfully dismiss the ideas of all opposition based on their political “ignorance”.

Alex Kajan Not saying it should be done but it would eliminate purchasing votes with taxpayer money

Alex Kajan And based on your above argument, just go with IQ…should eliminate bias

Alex Kajan So my vote labeled me a racist, misogynistic moron. Yet, in actuality, all I was trying to do was preserve the balance that made this country great.

Kwan-chen Ma This is the 10% part that I don’t agree with Ady’s “false equivalency” argument.

Matthew Ady Not sure if you’ve misread my opinion, or if I have misinterpreted your comment, but for the sake of clarity, I am not stating that your vote makes you any of those things. Rather, I suggest that too many sanctimonious liberals would say that, and that sentiment drove moderates to the right.

Kwan-chen Ma Matthew Ady The specific concerns (in quotes) raised in following part is at the risk of “false equivalency,”– “Liberals who espouse ideals of inclusivity essentially told conservative America that their concerns “(e.g. job losses in energy, abortion, etc.)” and their voices on those matters were not important. Moreover, our attitudes conveyed a belief that their concerns about “keeping jobs, supporting their families, and living according to their faith” were just excuses to be racist. Call it racism, but a lot of Trump voters were just really nervous about “growing American debt, losing their jobs to green energy, and watching fetuses “die” in direct opposition to their religious beliefs.” None of that sounds very racist to me.”

Kwan-chen Ma I think everyone is on the same side for those particular concerns in quotes. The appearance of false equivalency rises when one uses seemingly related statements (but not) to support an argument.

Jared Carver Kwan-chen Ma everyone may be in favor of keeping jobs, supporting their families, and living according to their faith, but the path to accomplishing those is starkly different between the parties. So to say everyone is on the same side for those, I would have to disagree. Also, the priority of those particular issues is different between the parties as well. Not sure which statements are “seemingly related (but not)”

Kwan-chen Ma Jared Carver “on the same side” means “everyone may be in favor of keeping jobs, supporting their families, and living according to their faith” from Ady’s writing. But he didn’t state the way you did in terms of how to go about it.

Jared Carver People rarely disagree on the meta-issues or meta-goals, i.e. the medical system needs to be reformed, the immigration system needs to be reformed, wanting our country to be prosperous, or that we want the best education for our citizens; it’s when we go to decide what is the best way to tackle the problems or reach our goals that we get into arguments. Each side believes their way is better.

Kwan-chen Ma Matthew Ady “Rather, I suggest that too many sanctimonious liberals would say that, and that sentiment drove moderates to the right.” Grown-up should take responsibility of their own decisions.

Matthew Ady Kwan-chen Ma I don’t follow.

Kwan-chen Ma Matthew Ady So the moderates “moved to the right” was a result of sanctimonious liberals name callings?

Matthew Ady Yeah, I’d argue there was a lot of that.

Alex Kajan If it doesn’t work, I’ll vote the other way again. If you have any historical perspective, never give one party control for more than a few years.

Charlie Bruin  IMO, this stuff is almost meaningless at an individual voter level, and it completely ignores all other context in the political landscape in favor of a wholly arbitrary and shallow measure of “fairness”. For one, it completely ignores the fact that we’ve had a Republican controlled congress for years which, coupled with your vote, extends the trend and adds a Republican Executive branch; this completely shoots down the idea of “balance”.

Further, it is far too simplistic to simply look at D and R and rotate between them in order to provide some superficial “balance”. Context matters. There is more to a candidate, a platform, than a political affiliation.

To take this away from the recent election and into the hypothetical, there are sometimes more important things than a pursuit of some superficial balance. What if the candidate whose party’s “turn” it is to take over is a convicted felon? What if they have been committed of espionage? What if they are completely unqualified? I find this strategy of voting to be completely devoid of a consideration of the real risks and potential rewards of electing one particular candidate over another. From my perspective, choosing a candidate to vote for deserves a much more nuanced consideration, even if it only goes so far as to raise red flags which should mean immediate disqualification from office.

And if we’re to accept that extreme disqualifications such as the above are worthy of ditching this “balanced” approach at voting, I would suggest that we’re well on our way to accepting natural corollaries such as considering actual policy proposals and ideological bent.

If we are to assume that all candidates are equally suitable for office, and that all policy proposals are more or less equally reasonable both in implementation and effect, I could potentially get on board with this strategy. However, I find the idea of such a political landscape to be off in a realm of utopia that we are never likely to see.

Kwan-chen Ma I believe that everyone has long decided who they will vote for. The rest of the time (99%) is to justify or defend your decision, implicitly or explicitly. In my life time, I have never seen a true single case, for issues of consequence, that people changed mind as a result of meaningful debates.

Jared Carver I’m a fiscal conservative, social libertarian, so while I usually lean Republican, there are some instances, this election being one, where neither of the two major parties, gives me a good option, and so I have to go with a third party. For other people, while they may be of one party or another, if their party doesn’t offer them a candidate they feel they can get behind, they may decide to not vote at all. And then others vote for the “lesser of two evils” depending on which issues they value most, and what side the candidates supposedly fall on for those issues. You’re right, people don’t change their minds about an issue from the debates, but they may lose confidence in their assumed candidate if they don’t show strong enough (or possibly aligned) conviction on the issues most important to that person. If Trump had said in the post primary debates that he was going to be pro-LGBT, the evangelicals would not have voted for Hillary, but they very well might have stayed home.

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