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Author Topic: The problem of Democracy
JacenGWiggin
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America is facing a dilemma today. Our problem is the present comatose state of the U.S government. We average American citizens have entered into our own sort of comatose state as well. We have believed the fairy-tales of the politicians far too long (I hope) to still believe that our current government can still function in such a way that not only improves our own people but the people of the world as well. The problem with Democracy is that it is too easily manipulated to help the people who hold power. This created mistrust between the government, who in reality holds power, and the people who really hold power, the American citizens.
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Samprimary
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quote:
This created mistrust between the government, who in reality holds power, and the people who really hold power, the American citizens.
wait so which one holds what
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ClaudiaTherese
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The giant doggie holds the tiny kitten, and he will call it George.

Pay attention, Samp. [Wink]

---

Welcome to Hatrack, JacenGWiggin. I am also a little confused by the details of your post, but I can pick up that it's a passionate topic for you.

Any chance you could get at it in a less abstract way? I think that would help me understand your point better.

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Glenn Arnold
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Welcome to Hatrack, you're wrong?
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JanitorBlade
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That's it GlennArnold. Lifetime ban!
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Glenn Arnold
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Damn.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Damn.

You wanna go? Afterlife ban!
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JacenGWiggin
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Sorry Folks. Okay, first of all, it isn't democracy that is faulty. It is a republic that we have and is why we are in our current situation where our government gets nothing done. Us average/not so average people have entered a state of mind where we have just given up ever changing our government. Republics are too easily manipulatable.
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Glenn Arnold
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Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah!
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Samprimary
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technically we have a democracy and a republic
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Glenn Arnold
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I find it interesting that we have such a hard time accepting that democracy and republic can be concurrent things. And to take a step further, we have a socialist, communist, capitalist, democratic, republic, oligarchy. I'll stop short of claiming that we have a dictatorship, although in many aspects of government, leaders have the authority to dictate both policy and action.

There is no one label that we can put on a form of government that encompasses everything that a government is. This is one of the reasons that until this year, I didn't join a political party. I think it's too confining to align yourself with a particular platform. Rigidity is the thing that bothers me most about politics.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by JacenGWiggin:
Sorry Folks. Okay, first of all, it isn't democracy that is faulty. It is a republic that we have and is why we are in our current situation where our government gets nothing done. Us average/not so average people have entered a state of mind where we have just given up ever changing our government. Republics are too easily manipulatable.

In fact the problem is not that our system is too easily manipulated. It's that the people originally set in charge of doing the manipulation-that is, the people themselves-largely abdicate that responsibility entirely. And contrary to doomsayers, it isn't new. It's not some facet of the modern political age.

Voter turnout has *always* been quite low. Knowledge of current events and world affairs has always been low, and I don't think it's some special American malaise. I think it's what generally happens when society is stable and secure and prosperous-people tend to worry about their own lives, the lives of their families, things they can see and touch and love and so on. In fact even for presidential elections I don't think it's gotten over 2/3s of eligible citizens in anyone's living memory.

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Lyrhawn
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Democracy only really works when everyone agrees, actively, on a daily basis, to be in a democracy.

The moment one side or group decides they don't want to be in a democracy anymore, it starts to collapse.

I'd argue that the pillars holding up that framework are a well-educated citizenry and an independent, dogged media.

Those pillars have been seriously weakened by the rise of a corporate media more interested in profits than journalism. I'd argue that problem is most easily evidenced in the rise of Trump. The symbiotic relationship between corporate media and Trump is both alarming and highly destructive. The media is no longer there to inform or investigate. They're just there to put on the biggest spectacle they can, but with the imprimatur of authority and trust they earned as a holdover from the golden age of news that preceded them.

And education has been so thoroughly deconstructed in America that even an engaged citizenry isn't equipped to deal with the larger issues and to poke through all the lies they hear on a daily basis.

It all works together. If the media fails, it's all the more important our politicians are trustworthy and our people educated. If education fails, we need the media to be on their game as a bulwark against corruption. If both the media and education fail, we really need our leaders to pitch in and work together.

When all of it collapses at the same time?

Your country starts its inevitable decline. And that's where I think we are today.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Even Rome fell. America has been sinking for awhile now...let's see which is faster...taking on water, or those trying to bail.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
technically we have a democracy and a republic

Drives me bonkers when Americans smugly say, "We're not a democracy, we're a REPUBLIC."

Basically, I go like this.

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scifibum
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I have that when people say tomatoes are not vegetables, they are fruits.
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kmbboots
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I have never understood why people don't think that fruits are vegetables. A fruit is a specific part of a plant and we call all parts of plants vegetables. Seeds, leaves, flowers, stems, fruit...and so forth.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I think there is a cultural reference that "vegetables" are the catch all for parts of the plant we eat which aren't seeds, or fruits, i.e. the offspring genetically.
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kmbboots
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Avocados, peppers, cucumbers, squash...
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RivalOfTheRose
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the decline of this thread is a microcosm of the decline of america
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Samprimary
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your mom's a macrocosm of america

ohhhhh

*high fives self, continues eating taquito alone*

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Ron Lambert
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I may have to vote for Trump. My previous idea, of writing in Ted Cruz' name, wouldn't do any good. Hillary Clinton is a known great evil, and cannot be allowed to become Commander-In-Chief, and be able to pick the next possible four or five Supreme Court justices. With Trump, I could only HOPE he would not abandon all his positions (which he has said are "just negotiating points"). A Trump win would probably guarantee that Republicans retain control of the House and Senate--which might help hold him in check (but they didn't do much good against Obama).

It looks like as a nation we have already crossed the line. Democracy has failed. The majority of likely voters are now gullible dupes who do not bother to exercise critical judgment. With a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, how could we be anything other than doomed as a nation? We will likely get the government we deserve. All I can do is try to minimize the damage, and Trump looks like he could be a lesser evil than Hillary. But that is only a hope, not a certainty.

If I vote for anyone other than Trump, I will be responsible in a real way for allowing Hillary to win. It is no joke that she would be the "Felon-In-Chief." The only thing worse would be allowing an openly avowed socialist to take over. At least with Trump, it is not certain that he would be as bad as Hillary, and there is some hope (however minuscule) that he might not go back on every one of his campaign promises and positions. At least he is not responsible for the utter disgrace and national betrayal of Benghazi. And he is not manifestly a total incompetent like Hillary, and has not made a career out of seeing how many laws he can get away with breaking. But he is a mannerless churl, willing to exploit racist sentiments, and who fears strong, intelligent women who do not submit to his domination.

*Sigh* Voting for Trump, I will feel like I am voting for the American Hitler. But I could not in good conscience have a part in allowing someone as truly evil, as outright criminal, as Hillary to win.

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Samprimary
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Just to be perfectly clear, is this the one hundred and seventy first time you have declared that democracy has failed and the nation appears doomed, or is it the one hundred and seventy second? I keep losing track.

Also if the majority of american voters are preventing democracy from working because they just don't have the good sense to vote ted cruz like you, what's your solution? How does Ron solve the problem of the majority of americans just being so beneath him?

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Rakeesh
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Sneering and awareness that they'll burn in hellfire is a plan.
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Samprimary
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I already got the typical unhinged Ron speech about how I am commanded by satanic influence and have a propensity to murder my own family members, because I disagreed with him about politics — that's old news.

What I want to hear now is how Ron explains the moral superiority he says he wields as a man who wanted to vote for Ted Cruz, who is considered (with little hyperbole, honest) by republicans and democrats alike to be an excruciatingly loathsome and self-obsessed person.

quote:
It looks like as a nation we have already crossed the line. Democracy has failed. The majority of likely voters are now gullible dupes who do not bother to exercise critical judgment. With a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, how could we be anything other than doomed as a nation?
Did you just completely forget that you already wrote off the nation as doomed four years ago? Why are you wondering how likely it is that the nation already crossed the line when four years ago you were certain that we had crossed that line and insisted 100% that the Lord would return within 9 years?
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Sneering and awareness that they'll burn in hellfire is a plan.

Oh the irony!
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
*Sigh* Voting for Trump, I will feel like I am voting for the American Hitler. But I could not in good conscience have a part in allowing someone as truly evil, as outright criminal, as Hillary to win.

I'm having a hard time understanding this. Trump may be the American Hitler, but Clinton is somehow worse than Hitler? Because of . . . what? Benghazi? The email thing?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Sneering and awareness that they'll burn in hellfire is a plan.

Oh the irony!
I'm actually not sure which direction this zinger is pointed.
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Stone_Wolf_
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You were sneering at Ron...for something samp said.
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Rakeesh
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Which might have been ironic, had they not been accurate castings of Ron Lambert's beliefs. Though the hellfire bit was aimed at Ted Cruz for whom Ron expressed support, but in hindsight that wasn't clear. Anyway, if I'm not mistaken Ron is a Seventh Day Adventist, and that theology doesn't believe in hell.

Keep an eye out, though! Politics can sometimes make people feel bored and apathetic. Fight it!

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Stone_Wolf_
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I try.
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Rakeesh
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It shows! [Smile]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
*Sigh* Voting for Trump, I will feel like I am voting for the American Hitler. But I could not in good conscience have a part in allowing someone as truly evil, as outright criminal, as Hillary to win.

I'm having a hard time understanding this. Trump may be the American Hitler, but Clinton is somehow worse than Hitler? Because of . . . what? Benghazi? The email thing?
Emailgate alone already makes Clinton, like, eight hitlers
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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

If I vote for anyone other than Trump, I will be responsible in a real way for allowing Hillary to win. It is no joke that she would be the "Felon-In-Chief."(*)

(* -- Felony not included.)

Clarified this statement for everyone.

I don't think arch-conservatives should be throwing around terms like felony, given the preponderance of evidence of the previous administration's Iraq War obfuscations that led to thousands of lost American lives versus 4.

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
*Sigh* Voting for Trump, I will feel like I am voting for the American Hitler. But I could not in good conscience have a part in allowing someone as truly evil, as outright criminal, as Hillary to win.

I'm having a hard time understanding this. Trump may be the American Hitler, but Clinton is somehow worse than Hitler? Because of . . . what? Benghazi? The email thing?
Emailgate alone already makes Clinton, like, eight hitlers
Well, I mean, Hitler never sent his email through a private server, right?
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kmbboots
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There is no evidence that Sec. Clinton was responsible or could have prevented the loss of those 4 lives.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
There is no evidence that Sec. Clinton was responsible or could have prevented the loss of those 4 lives.

Doesn't matter. Ten hitlers extra are added to Clinton's total level of complete and depraved evil.
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NobleHunter
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Hey, at least Clinton *had* emails. Hitler didn't write a single one, denying historians this critical store of data.
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Bokonon
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NobleHunter, the 'e' in email is clearly denoting 'evil'. So Clinton is incontrovertibly more evil.
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Emailgate alone already makes Clinton, like, eight hitlers

so evil
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Jon Boy
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Seriously, Ron, what are Clinton's crimes that are so heinous that it's preferable to vote for someone who might literally be the next Hitler? Remember that the Clintons have been in power before and have utterly failed to start World War III or round up and execute religious and ethnic minorities by the millions.
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scifibum
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*slight quibble on the rounding up :/
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Jon Boy
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If you're talking about deportations, then yeah, that's a fair point, though I was thinking more about concentration camps. And of course, Trump has promised to be far worse in that regard than anybody else.
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Ron Lambert
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Jon Boy, the Clintons have been lifelong professional criminals. Just because they keep getting away with their crimes does not mean they are not guilty as sin of a long, long list of serious offenses--up to and including murder. Here is a link to one of many, many sites that detail the serious crimes of both Bill and Hillary Clinton: http://clintonmemoriallibrary.com/clintcrimefamily.html

As for whether Hillary is worse than Hitler, she has not been a head of state--yet. But when Hitler was first elected, he was not known to have committed any crimes. He did reveal what kind of beliefs he had in his book, Mein Kampf. But who knows for sure how much a person means what he has written in such a book, and whether he would really resort to genocide to deal with what he wrongly imagined was the problem of the Jews?

We look down on the people of Germany for having been so gullible as to have voted for Hitler by 98%--twice. But they did not know the future. We have the lesson of history, and we can see what happens when a Democracy is subverted and outright hijacked by someone resorting to the kind of campaign methods employed by Trump and Hillary. With Trump, we can still hope he might keep his word about such things as appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court who will abide by the Constitution and not try to revise it on their own, and about showing more respect for religious liberty against the insanity of "political correctness"--that has gone so berserk lately as to seek to require that anatomical males be allowed into ladies restrooms and showers and locker rooms. (In my opinion, each and every person who favors this should be branded for life as a sex offender. Including Obama.) How could anything be more obvious? It is appalling that so many people could view this favorably. Fifty years ago, if anyone had proposed this, they would have been thrown in jail, or remanded to a psychiatric institution. I know a guy who was arrested just ten years ago for entering a ladies' restroom. What has happened to society? Has everyone gone daft? It is almost exclusively Democrats who favor such insanity. This is one of the things that confirms my belief that the Democratic Party is now totally on the side of Evil.

The election of Trump could have bad consequences. But there is not doubt of the absolute certainly that the election of Hillary Clinton would have the worst possible consequences. Lifelong habitual criminals who have already demonstrated that they have no morals at all should not be given the power of the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth!

[ May 18, 2016, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Jon Boy
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Yeah, never mind. I should know by now that it's fruitless to ask.
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TomDavidson
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Just as a side note: Ron, you do know that it has almost never been illegal for a man to enter a woman's restroom, right? That the trumped-up outcry over this issue and all the feigned outrage is being used to justify changes to the law, because the status quo is that transgender individuals are already allowed to use the bathroom they'd prefer?
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Rakeesh
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Well, it should come as no surprise to discover you are profoundly ignorant about even basic history of Nazism in general and Hitler in particular.

Mein Kampf, the book you referenced, Ron, was written *from prison*. For an attempted violent overthrow of the government. The elections you cite were absolutely rife with violence and voter intimidation. By the second election they certainly knew what they were getting, or might be getting. But on the bright side it makes your invoking of Hitler no less stupid, just less reprehensible by virtue of ignorance.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
If you're talking about deportations, then yeah, that's a fair point, though I was thinking more about concentration camps. And of course, Trump has promised to be far worse in that regard than anybody else.

I'm actually thinking of the disproportionate effects of Clinton-era crime bills on black and hispanic populations. I should have been more clear.

I don't actually think Bill Clinton (or Hillary) intended this to happen out of racial animus, though.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally sputtered out by Ron Lambert:
Fifty years ago, if anyone had proposed this, they would have been thrown in jail, or remanded to a psychiatric institution.

Fifty years ago you could get put in jail for marrying outside your own race and we would still forcibly sterilize human beings for being homosexual. I'm glad we're over 50 years ago. Too bad you aren't.

quote:
We look down on the people of Germany for having been so gullible as to have voted for Hitler by 98%--twice.
I shouldn't be surprised that you still believe this completely 100% super false thing that you got corrected on something like four years ago, repeatedly, by people who actually know what they are talking about.
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here is one such example, from 2004`

http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/main/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=021237#000043

quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
1933 Election 43% voted for Nazis
1934 Plebiscite 89% (38m) voted `for' Hitler.
1936 Election 98% voted for the Nazis - people were obliged to vote, 99% turned out.

Here is one example in history of what happened when voting was made mandatory.

quote:
Originally posted by Tristan:
Ron Lambert,

I really begin to wonder. As far as I can tell, you pull your facts out of thin air. There WERE no general elections in Nazi-Germany after 1933. After the cancellation of all other parties (July 5, 1933) and the ban on new parties (July 14, 1933), the National Socialists was the only remaining political party (source). This situation remained until after the war.

Please provide some sort of reference to your facts. I've spent some time digging on the web now, and I can honestly say I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Edit: I did find a reference to the 1934 plebiscite. Since it was held to show approval of Hitler combining the offices of president and chancellor in his person -- basically only confirming a fait accompli (and with considerable pressure to do so) -- I'm not sure how relevant it is to the discussion. (Source.)

No mention yet of an election in 1936, though.


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