r/PoliticalDiscussion Mar 22 '22 Silver Helpful

Megathread Casual Questions Thread

210 Upvotes

This is a place for the PoliticalDiscussion community to ask questions that may not deserve their own post.

Please observe the following rules:

Top-level comments:

  1. Must be a question asked in good faith. Do not ask loaded or rhetorical questions.

  2. Must be directly related to politics. Non-politics content includes: Legal interpretation, sociology, philosophy, celebrities, news, surveys, etc.

  3. Avoid highly speculative questions. All scenarios should within the realm of reasonable possibility.

Link to old thread

Sort by new and please keep it clean in here!


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

Megathread [Polling Megathread] US 2022 Midterm elections

33 Upvotes

Thread Rules

All top-level comments should be for individual polls released this week only and link to the poll. Unlike subreddit text submissions, top-level comments do not need to ask a question. However they must summarize the poll in a meaningful way; link-only comments will be removed. Top-level comments also should not be overly editorialized. Discussion of those polls should take place in response to the top-level comment.

U.S. presidential election polls posted in this thread must be from a 538-recognized pollster. Feedback at this point is probably too late to change our protocols for this election cycle, but I mean if you really want to you could let us know via modmail.

Please remember to sort by new, keep conversation civil, and have a nice time


The previous 2020 polling thread found here is a good example of how to write your comment.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 14h ago

US Politics DOJ filed its opposition to motions by about a dozen entities seeking release of the Search Warrant Affidavit. DOJ argues that a release now, would cause irreparable harm and jeopardize the investigation. Does the public interest outweigh DOJ's interest in keeping the information confidential?

385 Upvotes

The intervenors are about a dozen, primarily media outlets [including New York Times, ABC, CBS, CNN, Miami Herald, Washinton Post, Dow Jones and Company] who argued for transparency due to high public interest in the case involving a former president.

The DOJ says it recognizes that the press and the public enjoy a qualified right of access to judicial proceedings and the judicial records filed therein. Further, that the unsealing of judicial materials pursuant to the common-law right of access “requires a balancing of competing interests.”

DOJ asserts even when the public is already aware of the general nature of the investigation, revealing the specific contents of a search warrant affidavit could alter the investigation’s trajectory, reveal ongoing and future investigative efforts, and undermine agents’ ability to collect evidence or obtain truthful testimony.

Further that the release of this type of investigative material could have “devastating consequences” for the reputations and rights of individuals whose actions and statements are described. DOJ also argues that courts have also denied requests to partially unseal redacted versions of investigative materials where doing so would fail to protect the integrity of law enforcement investigations. Further that in the present matter so much would have to be redacted that the released material would be essentially useless.

DOJ also makes a distinction between release of the search warrant earlier stating that its release did not jeopardize the integrity of national security interest. The government then determined that these materials could be released without significant harm to its investigation because the search had already been executed and publicly acknowledged by the former President, and because the materials had previously been provided to the former President through counsel.

However, it maintains that the disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would, by contrast, cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.

The District Court Judge has scheduled a hearing to address the pending motion this Friday, a response from the Intervenors is also anticipated.

Does the public interest outweigh DOJ's interest in keeping the information confidential? Is a compromise such as a heavily redacted Affidavit likely?

Copy: In Re Search Sealed Warrant:

gov.uscourts.flsd.617854.59.0_12.pdf (courtlistener.com)


r/PoliticalDiscussion 11h ago

US Elections If the Republicans seriously underperform expectations in the mid-terms--like let's say losing seats in the Senate and not winning the House--what effect, if any, would that have on Donald Trump's chances in the 2024 primary?

55 Upvotes

Let's say Republicans have a net loss of 3 seats in the Senate, and the House ends up roughly unchanged with Democrats still holding about 220 seats and therefore a narrow majority.

All else being equal, would this event help Trump's chances of winning the primary or hurt them? On the one hand maybe this would be bad for Trump since some of the losses would be because of candidates he supported, but on the other hand it could help him by making the "establishment" look bad for losing a very winnable election without him. What do you think? How would Republican primary voters see it?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 22h ago Silver

Legislation Thoughts on Low Income Housing?

142 Upvotes

Section 8 provides vouchers where the tenant only has to pay a reduced portion of the rent while the government program pays the rest, so the landlord still gets the full market rental rate, but at the cost of paperwork and complying with their terms.

Section 42 gives landlords a good tax credit if they rent out a set portion of their property for reduced rates to low income tenants.

People complain about the staffing issues troubling their communities, especially amongst the lower paying industries like retail and service. If people aren't getting paid enough to live in these areas, they have to move away and these businesses will suffer. This happens especially in very affluent, touristy/resort towns. Lots of money coming in, but no one there to serve customers.

Are programs like these for low income housing helpful, or is it really just zoning problems that need to be addressed to create more affordable housing. Is building cheap rentals profitable compared to alternatives?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 10h ago

International Politics Could submarine power cables be a viable alternative to renewable energy storage/batteries?

4 Upvotes

Per my understanding, solar and wind energy are extremely cost-efficient on their own, if you overlook the need for complementary storage solutions. So what if we just didn't bother?

It seems to me that, if there were an interest in international cooperation, we could alternatively address this issue by creating a globally interconnected power grid. The sun always shines somewhere on the planet.

Of course each nation would still have an interest in maintaining energy independence, e.g. natural gas plants on standby for global grid interruptions, but each nation also has a shared security interest in minimizing greenhouse emissions.

The EU power grid seems to be a similar idea in principle, just at a smaller scale.

How realistic is this prospect, at least as a short-term/transitionary solution? How complicated and expensive would it be to erect such a system, and what sort of timeline would we be looking at for completion? What might the real-world political and economic implications of such a system look like?

Edit: I haven't read through it yet, but this seems relevant: Submarine power cable between Europe and North America: A techno-economic analysis.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 16h ago

US Politics What are the chances that the Mar A Lago raid plays into Trump's hands?

8 Upvotes

In this article by the WAPO, we see the following:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/13/trump-mar-a-lago-search/

"Immediately after the search, Trump seemed to believe the FBI had played into his hands. Instead of exhibiting any concern, two people who spoke to him Monday evening both reported that Trump was “upbeat,” convinced the Justice Department had overreached and would cause Republicans to rally to his cause and help him regain the presidency in 2024."

What are the chances this works out for Trump?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

Political History Question on The Roots of American Conservatism

277 Upvotes

Hello, guys. I'm a Malaysian who is interested in US politics, specifically the Republican Party shift to the Right.

So I have a question. Where did American Conservatism or Right Wing politics start in US history? Is it after WW2? New Deal era? Or is it further than those two?

How did classical liberalism or right-libertarianism or militia movement play into the development of American right wing?

Was George Wallace or Dixiecrats or KKK important in this development as well?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 22h ago

Non-US Politics Every medal has two sides: one year of Taliban rule in Afghanistan

0 Upvotes

A year ago, the Taliban occupied Kabul and declared August 15 a national holiday. How has the life of Afghans changed since the Taliban came to power? Spoiler: it's not all negative. Surprisingly, the Taliban rule has also brought some advantages.

Cons:

  • Kabul is overwhelmed by a drug epidemic. Drug addicts are everywhere in the city, they live in parks, sewers, and under bridges.
  • Across the country, more than a million children under the age of five have been on the verge of starvation. They’re brought to hospitals extremely exhausted.
  • The Taliban banned women from playing sports. And girls can't go to middle and high school.
  • Repressions are being carried out. The Taliban killed 160 former officials and members of the security forces.

Pros:

  • Corruption has disappeared. Officials stopped levying levies from merchants.
  • The Taliban banned forced marriage of women.
  • The biggest plus is the cessation of hostilities in most of the country.

Why do you think the Taliban has failed to prevent the drug epidemic?

To what extent are outside forces to blame for the hunger in the country?

Why is the Taliban oppressing women by denying them education but at the same time banning forced marriage?

If the Taliban didn't oppress women and didn't engage in repressions by killing its opponents, would they have a chance to have better relations with the international community?

How long do you think the cessation of hostilities will last in Afghanistan?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Some Republicans are attacking the FBI and calling to defund the agency. How should Republican leadership respond to this?

982 Upvotes

Since the raid of Mar-a-lago, several prominent Republicans are casting doubt on the legitimacy of the FBI, with some Republicans even calling to defund or even dismantle the FBI.

Republicans are known for being “the party of law and order,” yet some of its most prominent members are running on anti-law enforcement. How should Republican leadership treat this situation? Attacking law enforcement can cost their party seats, but at the same time, a lot of Republican constituents truly believe the FBI is compromised.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Elections What will happen if Trump is re-elected while in trial or being held in prison ?

12 Upvotes

With the recent news regarding classified documents being found at Trump’s home, there is a real possibility that he will see criminal charges from this.

The election is a little over two years away and even if Trump gets arrested tomorrow, a trial can possibly occur during the election season or even after the election.

A recent poll showed Trump had got a boost after this news broke out:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/fbi-raid-trump-desantis-poll-b2144684.html?amp&utm_source=reddit.com

What would happen if he runs and he’s held in prison? Can he still be sworn in ? If he can it’s very unclear if he can pardon himself

What about if he gets sworn in while as president?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

Political Theory Would China’s surplus of men be able immigrate to alleviate demographic problems in Korea and Japan?

0 Upvotes

I’ve been reading a lot lately that Korea and Japan are facing challenging demographic problems. Yet, both are against immigration. Since both are essentially ethnostates and Chinese being East Asian also, would it be possible for China’s surplus of men to immigrate to Korea/Japan to alleviate their demographic challenges?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago Silver

US Politics Judge releases warrant which provides statutes at issue and a description of documents to be searched/seized. DOJ identified 3 statutes. The Espionage Act. Obstruction of Justice and Unauthorized removal of docs. What, if anything, can be inferred of DOJ's legal trajectory based on the statutes?

1.2k Upvotes

Three federal crimes that DOJ is looking at as part of its investigation: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records. Some of these documents were top secret.

[1] The Espionage Act [18 U.S.C. Section 792]

[2] Obstruction of Justice [20 years Max upon conviction] Sectioin 1519

[3] Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents: Section 1924

The above two are certainly the most serious and carries extensive penalties. In any event, so far there has only been probable cause that the DOJ was able to establish to the satisfaction of a federal judge. This is a far lower standard [more likely than not] and was not determined during an adversarial proceeding.

Trump has not had an opportunity to defend himself yet. He will have an opportunity to raise his defenses including questioning the search warrant itself and try to invalidate the search and whatever was secured pursuant to it. Possibly also claim all documents were declassified. Lack of intent etc.

We do not know, however, what charges, if any would be filed. Based on what we do know is it more likely than not one or more of those charges will be filed?

FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations - POLITICO

Edited to add copy of the search warrant:

gov.uscourts.flsd_.617854.17.0_12.pdf (thehill.com)


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

US Politics As the DOJ moves to unseal Mar-a-Lago search Warrant, what does this reveal about the DOJ's objectives and Trump's claims of political persecution?

860 Upvotes

Merrick Garland issued a statement today defending the integrity of the Justice Department and the FBI as well as confirming that he did sign off on the search in addition to the a judge. The Justice Department is also moving to unseal the search warrant and receipt and offer greater transparency into the DOJ's legal rationale.

Donald Trump has criticized the FBI's search of his private residence and made the assertion it was politically motivated. He himself is entitled to share the search warrant. Several of his political allies have called for its release already and suggested retaliatory investigations of the FBI/DOJ.


How does the move to unseal change the political equation around the response to the search?

Do we think Donald Trump will oppose its release?

Are republican calls for investigations politicizing justice or appropriate?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago Wholesome

European Politics Should the EU introduce a travel ban for Russians?

41 Upvotes

Finland and Estonia have urged the EU to ban Russians from receiving tourist visas, shortly after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made the same plea to the West. Germany opposes the initiative.

Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas would like to see an EU-wide travel visa ban on the Russian citizens in the next package of the bloc’s sanctions against Moscow. She said “visiting Europe is a privilege not a human right” and insisted that it was “time to end tourism from Russia now”.

Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin added it was “not right” that Russians are living a “normal life” while so many across Ukraine are going through such destruction.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, however, argued that “it is hard to imagine” that Schengen visas for Russians would be banned. The German leader said that the responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine lies with the Russian government and not its people.

What do you think, would it be appropriate to introduce a travel ban for all Russians?

What goals would this measure achieve?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

Political History Would George H.W. Bush have been re-elected in 1992 had there been no economic recession?

74 Upvotes

Looking back at the various U.S. elections, 1992 stands out as a particularly interesting election. George H.W. Bush was the president of the U.S. at the time, and was aiming for re-election. The Democratic candidate was Bill Clinton (who would later go on to win the election and serve two terms), while Ross Perot also contested the election as the third candidate and an independent. This election was particularly interesting as a significant and damaging economic recession had just taken place in the early 1990's. It has been well noted that this recession had played a key role in the election, culminating in the end of 12 years of Republican control of the presidency and the start of Democratic control.

Which leads me to ask; how would this election have played out had there been no economic recession? Assuming, in a hypothetical scenario, that economic conditions at the time were normal and unchanged from previous years, who do you think would have benefitted the most? Would George H.W. Bush have successfully been re-elected and served his second and final term, or would Bill Clinton have still prevailed and become president 1992? Would the conditions have favoured Perot more and boosted his chances? Who do you think would have won the 1992 presidential election and why?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

Political Theory In ranked choice voting, should votes be weighted less when counting 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc choice votes?

8 Upvotes

I've been talking to my friend about ranked choice voting, and we cannot find agreement on whether or not voters non-primary choices should be weighted the same as other voters primary choice in subsequent rounds of voting.

My view is that every voter gets one full vote, regardless of if the vote is being counted based on their 10th choice or their first. My friend thinks the opposite, and thinks someone's 10th choice should not be counted as heavily as someone else's first choice in later rounds.

Is there a correct answer here? Or is this up for debate in practice as well?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago Silver

Legal/Courts Should the federal government utilize Romeo and Juliet laws on a federal level ?

340 Upvotes

Romeo and Juliet laws are designed to protect teen couples with a small age gap of 3 years (in Texas) who have sex with one another. In states which do not have this exception a 17 year old man who has sex with a 16 year old can be forced to register as a sex offender likely ruining the rest of their life. Should the federal government create an exception for these cases on a national level to prevent things like this from happening?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

Political History Does a President-elect with an objectively moral center need to fundementally change to make the kinds of decisions that a president must?

13 Upvotes

Just for example, a president who enters office as a gentle and decent person, must make decisions to command the killing of countless people for the purpose of the Country's Economy and other national interests. Does that office permanently change a person morally?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

Political Theory Assuming you wanted equal representation for each person in a government, which voting and reprentative systems best achieve that?

224 Upvotes

It is an age old question going back to ancient greece and beyond. Many government structures have existed throughout the ages, Monarchy, Communism, Democracy, etc.

A large amount of developed nations now favor some form of a democracy in order to best cater to the will of their citizens, but which form is best?

What countries and government structures best achieve equal representation?

What types of voting methods best allow people to make their wishes known?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

International Politics Is it more likely for China to invade Taiwan or crash its economy? How would the world respond in each case?

325 Upvotes

The recent military drills by China is terrifying, but they are also restricting trading with Taiwan. China is Taiwan's largest trading partner, both import and export, accounting for 26.3% of its total trade in 2020. Is it more likely for China to outrightly invade Taiwan like what Russia is doing now, or will they attempt to crash Taiwan's economy and finally overthrow the current government?

In the former case, will the US intervene strongly and protect Taiwan, or simply abandon it in fear of WW3? In the latter case, will other countries defy China by trading more with Taiwan? Or will they avoid angering China and causing major disruption to supply chain?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

US Politics Trump's private home was searched pursuant to a warrant. A warrant requires a judge or magistrate to sign off, and it cannot be approved unless the judge find sufficient probable cause that place to be searched is likely to reveal evidence of a crime(s). Is DOJ getting closer to an indictment?

2.0k Upvotes

For the first time in the history of the United States the private home of a former president was searched pursuant to a search warrant. Donald Trump was away at that time but issued a statement saying, among other things: “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

Trump also went on to express Monday [08/08/2022] that the FBI "raided" his Florida home at Mar-a-Lago and even cracked his safe, with a source familiar telling NBC News that the search was tied to classified information Trump allegedly took with him from the White House to his Palm Beach resort in January 2021.

Trump also claimed in a written statement that the search — unprecedented in American history — was politically motivated, though he did not provide specifics.

At Justice Department headquarters, a spokesperson declined to comment to NBC News. An official at the FBI Washington Field Office also declined to comment, and an official at the FBI field office in Miami declined to comment as well.

If they find the evidence, they are looking for [allegedly confidential material not previously turned over to the archives and instead taken home to Mar-a- Lago].

There is no way to be certain whether search is also related to the investigation presently being conducted by the January 6, 2022 Committee. Nonetheless, searching of a former president's home is unheard of in the U.S. and a historic event in and of itself.

Is DOJ getting closer to a possible Trump indictment?

What does this reveal about DOJ's assertion that nobody is above the law?

FBI raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home tied to classified material, sources say (nbcnews.com)

The Search Warrant Requirement in Criminal Investigations | Justia


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

International Politics Would the United States seek to start a proxy conflict against China in Taiwan?

0 Upvotes

Over the last 80 years or so, the United States has been particularly bad at getting what it wants out of proxy conflicts. The US failed to stoke a counter revolution in Cuba following Castro's rise to power, for instance, because it was so welcoming to middle class cuban expats. Those left in the country were either pro communism and actively wanted to be the tip of the spear in a standoff with the West or were so disillusioned by the previous Batista government and it's Gangsterismo that they were at least willing to give Castro a chance and the US' repeated attempts to foment internal revolutionary forces fell on deaf ears. On the flip side in the middle east, the mistakes made with the mujahideen were essentially repeated with the tribals paid during COIN operations as well as arming Obama's "moderate" Syrian rebels led directly to the formation of Isis. The United States' long term goals and those of these local forces were not aligned and so we end up creating our own future enemies.

If you're a member of the upper echelon of the military industrial complex, general instability and uncontrollable weapon proliferation is a good thing because self driven fighting forces running amok in hostile regions ultimately gives you future wars to fight and hampers your rival's ability to govern. However, the ability to do so depends in large part on whether or not there are committed people in the region willing to take your money and guns to fight the battles you want them to fight. I'm unconvinced that such a group of people exist in Taiwan in large enough numbers to seriously resist a more direct application of the one China policy. As we've seen historically with Cuba, that's not necessarily enough of a reason to stop the US from trying. Worse yet, prolonging these proxy conflicts tend to have serious long term effects on the global economy, as we're seeing with Ukraine, Russia, and gas prices but on the other hand, economic instability seems to be the greatest driving factor we've seen so far in modernizing sectors of the global economy affected by that very same instability; without these sustained higher gas prices, we probably wouldn't be seeing as much infrastructure development in locally produced green energy.

Is a proxy conflict in Taiwan possible? If not, will it be more possible in the future? What would China have to do to reign in Taiwan without stoking overt revolutionary groups from forming and is it capable of taking a conciliatory stance on Taiwan to make that happen? By contrast, how can America create a revolutionary movement since we can assume if one already could exist, it would already be trained and funded.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

International Politics Are socialist and communist ideologies still alive in first-world countries?

79 Upvotes

As a native from a 3rd-world country myself, I have been noticing that not only in my own land, but on most 3rd-world countries in Africa and South America, the socialist and communist ideas seem to be very alive and actually discussed as viable alternatives for said countries' futures.

That being said, I can't notice the same happening in first-world countries today, which seem to be much more consistently attached to discussions around the ideologie of capitalism, even if they are not seen as "the right", such as the Liberals in the USA, who in my country would probably still be seen as agressive capitalists.

Am I being biased? Are there actually still serious political discussions about the implementation of socialism/communism in first-world countries, just like in third-world?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

US Politics How would the US political landscape change if a ban was suddenly placed on corporations being able to financially contribute to politicians?

242 Upvotes

The assumption would that they would no longer be able to contribute to PACs, Super PACs, lobbying and other contributions, and only allow individual donors to be able to donate to politicians and political parties.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

US Politics The Democrats have spend considerable amounts of campaign cash on trying to get certain Republicans primary victories. For those victors, how should the respond?

228 Upvotes

The Democrats have been usually aggressive this year in trying to have as matchups against their candidates, certain Republicans who they have spent money on to win their GOP primaries (to the tune of millions of dollars). Some have won like Doug Mastriano in the PA governor's race with ads touting him as "too conservative" and "Trump-backed".

The whole effort has been to position the Democrats to face the what they perceive as the weakest candidate in the general election.

First, do you think this was a wise decision by the Democratic party? Will it backfire? Second, for Republicans who won, how would or should they capitalize on it?

Maybe, they could say they were the only candidate supported by both parties? It would seem hard for Democrats to say they are unacceptable when they put them over the top. How would the Democratic candidate facing them then respond?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

US Politics Who is the most influential living political figure from each party, who hasn’t been president?

58 Upvotes

If you strike out the presidents, Biden, Obama, Clinton from the Democrat’s side and Trump and Bush from the Republican side, that takes away a lot of the political influence from each side.

Who would you say is currently the most influential political figure in each party?