# Blow to US Democracy -Split from: U.S. presidential election modelling

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38 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Do they not do that in the US?

No. People have been known to be fired for asking for a few hours off to go vote. Many can’t vote at all because they can’t afford to lose their job. Early voting helps with this, but that’s being blocked by republicans in many states, too.

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As with the previous responses - if you’re e.g. working two jobs so there’s no free time and voting means waiting in line for 2-3 hours or more, and/or the polling place is a long bus ride away, you’re not going to vote.

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In Canada the polls are open for 12 hours with additional time for line ups. Not paid but it's required that employees have 3 consecutive hours off to vote.

Also criminals having voting rights, even while incarcerated. (We agree with Bernie on that one...at least I do)

Gerrymandering has largely been eliminated, by having voting districts determined by independent agencies.

I've always voted in person and have never been aware of any issues with anyone voting, for any reason, that weren't resolved allowing someone to vote, or seen anything but respect for those showing up to vote. (that part of course is certainly anecdotal)

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Yeah. That’s not what happens in the US.

It is, however, what most democrats advocate and what most republicans stand in opposition to.

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17 minutes ago, iNow said:

Yeah. That’s not what happens in the US.

It is, however, what most democrats advocate and what most republicans stand in opposition to.

Not the incarcerated prisoners part (though more so than Republicans)

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5 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Not the incarcerated prisoners part

One could argue that democrats desire for criminal justice reform and for releasing nonviolent offenders... for allowing felons to vote once released... is a bigger more comprehensive way of achieving the same thing.

One could also argue that this interesting exchange about who supports voting more is off-topic from the insurrection discussion.

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

One could argue that democrats desire for criminal justice reform and for releasing nonviolent offenders... for allowing felons to vote once released... is a bigger more comprehensive way of achieving the same thing.

One could also argue that this interesting exchange about who supports voting more is off-topic from the insurrection discussion.

Also likely more achievable. We can leave it at that.

Cheers, mate 🥃

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38 minutes ago, iNow said:

Cheers, mate 🥃

On topic. I just wanted everyone to know I'm advocating for Trump 2024.

(not to get elected...to get to vote 😃)

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On 1/8/2021 at 8:55 AM, Phi for All said:
On 1/7/2021 at 10:19 PM, MigL said:

Phi for All replied

"I don't know about Canadian law, but in the US, the courts don't overturn bad laws on their own, they need people to break them and then argue in court why it was the right thing to do."

You're seriously using my quote as an example of duplicitousness in my stance?! Are you saying these courageous patriots were just challenging the unjust laws that protect our national institutions, by arming themselves and breaking into the Capitol building? That's a pretty slimy way to argue, if you don't mind my pointing it out, MigL.

Wow !
You got all that from "Phi for All replied" ?
I said nothing else !
Where you get the duplicitousness and slime, I have no clue.

But, if you didn't mean that those idiots who broke the law on Wednesday, should be able to argue it in court as to why it was the 'right thing to do', maybe you should explain and clarify YOUR post.
If you don't mind my pointing it out.

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There was an interesting article from buzzfeed of all places:

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BuzzFeed News spoke to two Black officers who described a harrowing day in which they were forced to endure racist abuse — including repeatedly being called the n-word — as they tried to do their job of protecting the Capitol building, and by extension the very functioning of American democracy. The officers said they were wrong-footed, fighting off an invading force that their managers had downplayed and not prepared them for. They had all been issued gas masks, for example, but management didn’t tell them to bring them in on the day. Capitol Police did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment about the allegations made by officers.

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While some of the images from that day appeared to show officers standing by to let the mob into the Capitol building, the veteran officer said that they had fought them off for two hours before the attackers eventually gained access. The officer said that many of the widely spread images of smiling marauders, wandering the halls dressed in absurd costumes, had the effect of downplaying how well prepared some of the rioters were to overtake the building, and even to capture and kill Congress members.

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“That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs ... They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs, in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the officer said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

The officer even described coming face-to-face with police officers from across the country in the mob. He said some of them flashed their badges, telling him to let them through, and trying to explain that this was all part of a movement that was supposed to help.

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“We were telling them to back up and get away and stop, and they’re telling us they are on our side, and they’re doing this for us, and they’re saying this as I’m getting punched in my face by one of them … That happened to a lot of us. We were getting pepper-sprayed in the face by those protesters — I'm not going to even call them protesters — by those domestic terrorists,” said the officer.

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He said that what upset him the most was when he later saw images of a white colleague taking a selfie with the attackers, seeming to enjoy his time with the insurrectionists who were roaming the US Capitol with Confederate flags and other symbols of white supremacy.

“That one hurt me the most because I was on the other side of the Capitol getting my ass kicked,” he said.

It does seem that among the mob, there were folks that had more planned. I doubt that they were able to whip up pipe bombs between Trump's rally and the storming of the capitol.

This is bananas

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56% of all voters believe enough fraud took place to change the outcome?

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36 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

56% of all voters believe enough fraud took place to change the outcome?

No. Out of that sub-population of voters who thought enough fraud took place to change the election outcome, 56% of those felt the siege of the capitol was a good thing. 34% of those opposed it.

Edited by iNow

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9 minutes ago, iNow said:

No. Out of that sub-population of voters who thought enough fraud took place to change the election outcome, 56% of those felt the siege of the capitol was a good thing. 34% of those opposed it.

Thanks.

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Tomorrow morning, Speaker Pelosi will request infamous consent in the House to call on VP Pence to convene with the cabinet and invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. If they do not receive unanimous consent, it will be brought to the floor for a vote on Tuesday. He will be asked to respond within 24 hours. She will then agree with the demands of her caucus to move forward with articles of impeachment later in the week.

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It’s going to be a dangerous 10 days... likely more...

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Armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitols, FBI bulletin says

An internal FBI note obtained by ABC News shows warnings of "a huge uprising."

Starting this week and running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol, according to an internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News.

The FBI has also received information in recent days on a group calling for “storming” state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day. The group is also planning to “storm” government offices in every state the day President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump.

"The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January," the bulletin read. "They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."

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20 minutes ago, iNow said:

It’s going to be a dangerous 10 days... likely more...

Yey, as if a raging pandemic which folks still kind of ignore was not enough.

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On 1/10/2021 at 4:13 PM, J.C.MacSwell said:

56% of all voters believe enough fraud took place to change the outcome?

Btw - Just to follow up on this... 40% of voters meet that criteria according to at least two recent surveys conducted in the last week. The number for republicans jumps to 74%.

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33 minutes ago, iNow said:

Btw - Just to follow up on this... 40% of voters meet that criteria according to at least two recent surveys conducted in the last week. The number for republicans jumps to 74%.

This seems awfully high.

Belief in enough actual voter fraud? Or enough due not just to some fraud plus a laundry list of complaints (media bias, Hunter Biden story suppressed, States not following there own laws, too much online voting access etc etc)

Because I'm having trouble believing the conservative media falls vastly into the remaining 26%. Even Fox News acknowledges there wasn't enough fraud to throw the election.

What was the question asked in these surveys?

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Quote

In a survey fielded in the days after a group of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol (January 8 to 11), 72 percent of likely Republican voters said they continue to question the presidential election results. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans, or 74 percent, said allegations of voter fraud have contributed to these concerns. Those are overwhelming majorities, but even among independents, 42 percent said they do not currently trust the election results.

<...>
These findings are consistent with those in other recent surveys: A Quinnipiac poll out Monday also found that 73 percent of Republicans believe there’s widespread voter fraud, compared to 5 percent of Democrats who felt the same.

<...>
As this poll makes clear, many Republicans still believe allegations of voter fraud that Trump has misleadingly raised for months, and some are even doubting the Democratic process because of them.

The other poll cited above that arrived at nearly identical conclusions can be found here: https://poll.qu.edu/images/polling/us/us01112021_usmk38.pdf

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I hope the planned uprisings are just your pessimism, and the FBI preparing for a worst case scenario, INow.
Hasn't that idiot, and the Republicans who still support his madness, done enough damage to American Democracy and ideals ?

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Just now, MigL said:

I hope the planned uprisings are just your pessimism, and the FBI preparing for a worst case scenario, INow.
Hasn't that idiot, and the Republicans who still support his madness, done enough damage to American Democracy and ideals ?

It’s not my pessimism, mate. It’s an FBI security alert about right wing terrorism and confirmed premeditated threats in the days ahead. The National Guard is already deploying thousands of troops.

Trump can be silent forever more and these currents will continue crashing on the shore. Unless he comes out and says VERY clearly, “any acts of violence at government sites or on elected officials dishonor me PERSONALLY,” then this toothpaste is already out of the tube and isn’t going back in.

Sometimes once you light the fuse you can no longer stop the explosion.

My hope is that this advanced knowledge is enough for the real patriots in my country to stop (or at least minimize) it

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3 minutes ago, iNow said:

Sometimes once you light the fuse you can no longer stop the explosion.

US problems are much deeper than D.T. .. actually, he is just the result, what happened in U.S. below the carpet, where sometimes rich and prominent people, look only when there are elections..

I found an article in European newspaper about the situation in the USA as seen by a foreign journalist (translated by Google):

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The United States is in many ways an almost failed state. The American dream, which the US elite wakes up from the Capitol incidents involving Donald Trump supporters, actually ended a long time ago.

In 2012, the HBO series "Newsroom" debuted - quite underrated and often overly criticized for idealism. In the opening scene, we watch a meeting attended by a Democrat, a Republican who hosts a major news issue from one of the TV stations. The students in the audience ask questions. Will McAvoy - that is the name of the journalist in the center - is clearly blasé and perhaps hides the irritation that ultimately causes him to explode when asked why the United States is the greatest country in the world. Unrestrained, he first ridicules the banal responses of his predecessors (Democrat says “diversity and opportunities,” Republican says “freedom and freedom.” Then she goes on to prove that there are absolutely no arguments to support the thesis that the USA is the greatest country in the world.

So he points out, in turn, that the United States ranks 7th in the world in literacy, 27th in mathematics, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in the number of children dying in childbirth, 3rd in middle income per family, 4th in the labor force and 4th in exports, and they are the leader in only three categories: the number of prisoners per 1,000 inhabitants, the number of people who believe that angels are real, and military expenditure greater than the expenditure of another 26 countries combined taken (25 of which are allies). Then he refers to a past in which the United States could indeed have been a model, talks about great achievements in science, culture, curing diseases, doing "what is right." Although one might be critical of the latter statement in particular (in connection with, for example, the military and intelligence interventions of America in the near and more distant neighborhood), it can be seen that the hero has lost any illusions about the quality of his country.

The richest country of the "third world" One of the main reasons why this happened, McAvoy considers the crisis of the media, which stopped reporting properly about what is happening in the USA, and instead - this is my endorsement - began to dig deeper into ideological positions and serve the audience this what she wants to hear. All the more symptomatic are the words that were uttered in the coverage of recent events on the Capitol. Subsequent journalists, not only CNN, directly expressed concerns that the recordings from the "temple of democracy" will make the rest of the world stop looking at the United States as the greatest country in history that should be modeled on. It is hard not to consider this a symptom of a total detachment from reality, since for the media elite in the United States the end of an era has come only now. In fact, it came a long time ago and the processes associated with it only progressed over time. Contrary to what many prominent commentators and commentators here, who and who are still stuck in their ideas about Reagan's America, still seem to be, the USA is not a country worth following.

The United States is in many ways an almost failed state. For example, the independent journalist Charlie LeDuff, author of the books “Detroit. Autopsy of America "and" Shitshow! America is falling apart and viewership is soaring ”. He loudly calls the United States the richest third world country, and equally loudly criticizes his colleagues, saying that they would never even think to step out of their skyscrapers and see how the people around them really live.

Some of the aforementioned statistics that appeared in the "Newsroom" series are out of date. For example, the US today ranks second in exports, and although it still spends the most on armaments in the world, China and Russia are also in the top four, which would hardly be considered allies. This does not mean, however, that the data is kind to the US - quite the opposite. The most visible are those related to the coronavirus: the number of infections (as of January 10, 2021) has exceeded 22 million, and the number of deaths - 373,000, which is almost 25%, respectively. and 19 percent cases around the world.

Since we are dealing with health care, it is worth mentioning that in just one year, 2019, over half a million families went bankrupt due to the inability to pay bills for treatment - and it was no exception, it is basically every year. In the same year, 8.3 percent. the society did not receive the medical assistance they needed because they were unable to pay for it. More than 37 million people have no insurance, and another 41 million have insufficient access to health care, not least because companies with less than fifty employees do not need to insure them. As a result, insurance can be the most important element of the contract, a kind of bonus that does not settle everything anyway - sometimes the employer will cover the cost of the policy in 60%, sometimes in 80%, and the place of residence and the number of insurers present in the region also matter. When there are more of them, the cost of the policy decreases due to competition. Anyway, it covers only selected medical procedures and up to a certain level, so even when going to the doctor with a cold, you have to pay extra for the visit. Even more, when we talk about meetings with specialists, hospitalization or operations.

Maybe you just need to add money to the system? Well, no, the US spends the most on health care in the world - about $3.5 trillion a year. It's about 17 percent. GDP, in Switzerland, second on the list, about 12 percent is spent on healthcare. GDP. The problems - and I have just mentioned a few - could be solved by the introduction of universal health care financed from the federal budget. The Lancet magazine published a study whose results (and so cautious and therefore somewhat understated) showed that not only would this save nearly half a trillion dollars, but the deaths would also drop by about 68,000 a year. This is just one area where things go wrong in the United States. Another is education, with an emphasis on the gigantic problem of student loans - though that doesn't mean the earlier stages are fine. Increasingly, in the US, it is estimated that far too many schools are closing (for various reasons), classrooms are overcrowded (and school closings only increase the problem), too much emphasis is placed on solving standardized et cetera tests. The real stairs, however, start at the level of studies, which are - of course - paid. This applies not only to private universities with an average annual tuition fee of$ 53,102, but also to public universities, which are cheaper but still expensive - an average of $25,396 per year. To afford education - it must be admitted that generally at a very high level - most people have to take out loans. As much as 54 percent. female and male students had to borrow money for this - an average of$ 37,585 per capita. These debts drag on people for years: as much as 14 percent. US adults still have a college loan to pay off. In the case of 6.5 percent. for all student loans, the delay in payment of installments exceeds 90 days. 2 in 10 people have problems with paying off loans for education. However, these are the underestimated statistics - due to the pandemic, in March 2020, a partial suspension of the need to pay installments was introduced. This solution will cease to apply (unless it is possible to extend it) at the end of January.

There have been voices for a long time that the system will collapse at some point, just as the mortgage system collapsed in 2007. The more so as the sum of student loans is growing at an alarming rate - in 2006 their total value was just over USD 480 billion (3.5% of GDP), now it is almost USD 1.7 trillion. In other words, in fourteen years the level of education debt has almost tripled. The assumption that once female and male students are educated and then have a good job, they will be able and able to repay their loans without any problems, turns out to ignore important factors. For example, not all are able to finish their studies and drop out at an earlier stage. However, loans remain - among would-be graduates, as many as 37 percent have problems with repayment of loans. According to a survey conducted by the Student Loan Planner in 2019, 1 in 15 people with a student loan had suicidal thoughts related to their inability to pay back. Therefore, there are more and more proposals for at least partial debt relief.

Another area worth exploring is inequality. The scale of this problem - with a break about which in a moment - has been growing in the States since 1979. But let's go back even further and briefly follow this phenomenon that many economists (including the Nobel Prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz in the book "The Price of Inequality. How Social Divisions Are Threatening Our Future") have been one of the greatest challenges. facing the United States.

The easiest way to talk about this issue is to use the so-called Gini coefficient, which at level 0 means complete equality in income between people, and at level 1 - a situation where all income is taken by one person. What has this indicator looked like in the US over the years? The period from 1937 to 1967 is called the "great compression": the Gini was then 0.30. Inequalities were really low, which on the one hand was the result of the highest income tax threshold of 91% in 1961. (charged on incomes in excess of $400,000 a year), on the other, the strength of trade unions, which successfully fought for better employment conditions, and who owned a third of non-agricultural workers. The following years did not bring great changes. Although during Richard Nixon's presidency the highest income tax rate was lowered to 70%, it was also levied on income in excess of$ 200,000 a year. Later, however, the reign of Ronald Reagan came. It initiated a new approach to the economy that we today call neoliberalism. Since then, the Gini coefficient has started to increase significantly, reaching 0.45 in 2005. Although there was a slight reduction between 2007 and 2016, it is hard to say that the great achievement was the reduction of the Gini coefficient from 0.456 in 2009 to 0.454 in 2015.

What does it look like in percentage? In the years 1979–2016, income after tax was 1%. the richest part of society grew by 226 percent. Comparison? Income after taxation of the poorest 5% societies grew by only 85 percent. After 2016, inequalities began to increase even more clearly and, as announced, in 2021 the Gini coefficient is expected to amount to 0.521. This can also be shown in other numbers. Earnings of the richest 1 percent societies between 1979 and 2019 increased from 7.3 percent. up to 13.2 percent the income of the whole society. At that time, the income of the bottom 90 percent. of society fell from 69.8 percent. up to 60.9 percent whole. How little has changed over the years for the bottom 90 percent society, as evidenced by the fact that in 1979 the average per capita income was $30,880 per year, and in 2019 -$ 38,923 per year.

When 2020 came, the coronavirus pandemic left millions of people unemployed - unemployment rose from 4.4%. in March to 14.7 percent in April (6.6 million people applied for unemployment status only during one week in March / April). In November, the situation improved, the unemployment rate hovered around 6.7%, but this percentage was probably underestimated, as it only included those who were looking for a job, so they were visible in the statistics. Either way, in December 2020, there were 10 million fewer jobs in the US than ten months earlier. Over the same period, the wealth of billionaires grew 57 percent or $931 billion. The country is cracked The problems that plague the United States last a long time. In the "land of freedom and liberty", there are almost 2.3 million people in prisons (as many as 698 people per 100,000 inhabitants is of course the highest rate in the world). Almost half a million of them are in custody without a court sentence because they do not have enough money to pay bail (the average amount is$ 10,000). As many as 77 million people in the US are on the criminal record, sometimes for very minor cases or as a result of forced admission of guilt (for example, due to the inability to pay a lawyer or ignorance of the law). In 2019, 35 million people in the United States were suffering from malnutrition, and the pandemic increased that number to 50 million. The United States is a country where - depending on the source - there are between 600,000 and 1.5 million people in a homeless crisis. However, socioeconomic problems are not the only problems of this state, which also has a great problem with social polarization. Arlie Russell Hochschild in the book "Strangers in their own country. The anger and sorrow of the American right, ”quoted polls which showed that in 1960 only 5 percent of of respondents answered positively to the question of whether they would be “disturbed” if their child were to marry a member of the opposite party. In 2010, 33 percent answered yes. Democratic voters and 40 percent. Republican supporters. Ten years later, little has changed. Democrats' number of affirmative responses increased to 38% (41 percent would not mind), for Republicans it fell to 38 percent. (50% would not mind).

Division in society results, among other things, from the operation of social media, programmed to arouse emotions, including anger and aggression. At the same time, they create information bubbles, as a result of functioning in which many people - one could say - live in completely "different realities", because they recognize "other facts". These do not really matter, what counts is emotions. This belief was explicitly expressed by one of the most prominent politicians of the Republican party, Mitch McConnell, in an interview on crime. The journalist who spoke to him said that although of course you can find places where its scale is increasing, at the national level, the crime rate has been falling for several decades. McConnell said that people do feel that crime is increasing. When he was confronted with the fact that emotions are not facts, he replied that she had her facts and the journalist her own, probably provided by liberal organizations. This one tried to make him realize that this was FBI data, which could by no means be called a liberal organization, and McConnell, backed to the wall, decided that what people felt was more important to him than statistics. It is difficult to talk in such an atmosphere, since it is impossible to even agree on what is true and what is false.

Another example of this is the recent events on the Capitol. Even during them, there were voices that this was a provocation of Antifa, and not the actions of Trump's supporters. Throughout his presidency, Trump has used innuendo, distortions and obvious lies, the greatest of which - about allegedly stolen, rigged elections - led to what we have seen in recent days in Washington.

To make it more interesting, the democracy of the US electoral process can indeed be called into question - albeit for reasons entirely different from Trump's insinuations. The election system in the US is incredibly complicated, based on the selection of electors who, in as many as 24 states, are not legally obliged to vote for the person indicated by the voters - or they face a very small fine for violating their will. Gerrymandering, i.e. manipulating constituencies in such a way as to increase the chances of one's own candidate, is also a serious problem. Various requirements related to election registration are also important - for example, the need to additionally show an identity document after you have been registered as a person entitled to vote. Such a document is primarily a driving license (in the US there is no such thing as an ID card), which strikes ethnic minorities, which more often do not have one, and statistically more likely to vote for Democrats.

The list of problems in the US could go on for a long time, just to mention the lack of federal labor law, the opioid epidemic, the growing power of giant corporations that turns the "one person-one vote" principle into "one dollar-one vote", or still present - not only in the police - systemic racism against black citizens of the country.

The United States is not only the richest third world country, but also a country with the best PR in the world. Only this can be attributed to the fact that still so many people, also here, are devoted to the "homeland of democracy" as in the picture. At the same time, it is an absolutely fascinating country in many respects, where many great people live, full of nature that captivates with its beauty. You don't have to look at the USA through rose-colored glasses to fall in love with them. The band Rammstein once sang: "We all live in America." In a way it is true, but all the more so should wake up from the long-dead American dream and stop following the example of "the greatest country in the world".

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33 minutes ago, iNow said:

It’s not my pessimism, mate. It’s an FBI security alert about right wing terrorism and confirmed premeditated threats in the days ahead. The National Guard is already deploying thousands of troops.

Just imagine how the mood would be different if there were Muslim groups throughout USA who threaten to conduct violence on social media. I suppose will take the threats a bit more seriously now. However, similarly to Europe, right-wing (white) terrorism was often not considered to be real, until they start investigating it (the scandals in Germany was an admittedly almost laughable example).

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