Democrats and Republicans are as different as day and night (or donkeys and elephants).
They have different views on big issues, from education to foreign affairs. Have you ever seen a political debate in which one candidate declares that they agree with the other? You'd be hard-pressed to!
However, there are certain things that Democrats and Republicans do agree on, from their views on voters to their views on their careers.
Curious about what those things may be, Redditor Reddit807 asked:
"What's something Democrats and Republicans 100% agree on?"
Poor Opinion Of Voters
"Voters are something to be exploited and not individual human beings with rights and needs."
"That voters are stupid and have short memories"
Not Politics, But Still Agreement
"Warm brownies with cold ice cream is delicious"
"Pineapple does not belong on pizza"
"And Betty White RIP"
"They should be re-elected"
Two Parties Are Enough
"That they dont want a 3rd party to break up their monopoly."
"no 3rd party will be allowed the means to compete"
"Eliminating Daylight savings time. Passed the Senate unanimously and awaiting a House vote and Biden signature. It's not much, but we'll take a win where we can."
"Getting rid of daylight savings time"
"Technically they're eliminating standard time and making daylight savings time permanent"
"The other side is evil and wants to ruin the country"
"That the other side is wrong."
– Deleted User
"Lying and empty promises are the best policy."
Money, Money, Money
"Both sides love money and doing whatever they can to get more of it from their respective donors (only constituents that matter). Both sides will do anything to keep those spots and keep getting rich as hell off less than 200k/year."
What The Problems Are
"Everyone agrees on 95% of WHAT the problems are."
"The problem is that no one wants to compromise on their solution and/or their solution is so f**ked up that compromise is impossible."
Forever And Ever
"Neither side wants term limits for the House and Congress, but I think most Americans want them."
I guess anyone can find common ground, even if it's not exactly good common ground.
While it is important to know what each party believes and what they agree on, it's equally, if not more important, what you believe. After all, you're the one doing the voting!
When it comes to electing a leader, the choice is an easy one if a potential candidate shares the same values as yours.
And while a candidate is fit to lead remains to be seen, we rely on our instinct to choose someone with whom we can relate.
But sometimes, our options are limited and we inevitably go with someone who is the lesser of two evils.
Curious to hear from strangers online about a hypothetical, Redditor Cashmeresquid2309 asked:
"Americans of Reddit, would you vote for an openly Atheist presidential candidate? Why or why not?"
Redditors were quick to point out the answer was a no-brainer.
We Already Know The Answer
"Asking Reddit if they'd vote for an atheist..."
"I feel like the answer would be obvious."
"Americans of Reddit, would you vote for a Star Wars fan who heckin loves doggos?"
For The Atheists In The Crowd
"Atheists of atheistville, would you vote for an open atheist?"
Others weighed in with a range of opinions.
"Better to ask the question in r/conservative"
"What's funny is how many of them would probably say no, even though they voted for Trump and would do so again. Say whatever else you want about him, but I seriously can't understand how anyone could genuinely believe Trump is a Christian. He's so obviously faking it and is undoubtedly the most atheistic president we've ever had or are likely to have for a long time."
"This is a guy who's never even so much as read the Bible or attended church, who told a conservative radio host his favorite Bible verse was 'an eye for an eye', who told evangelical interviewers that he's never asked God for forgiveness because he's never done anything wrong, and who routinely commits all 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth) without remorse."
From A Different Perspective
"Not an american but interestingly according to this survey on 1006 people from 2007, being atheist was the worst thing you could be as a candidate (of the things asked) with only 45 % of people saying they'd vote for one."
An atheist candidate isn't necessarily a big strike.
"I wouldn’t not vote for someone just because they were atheist."
"This is it. If they’re running on platforms I support with a history to back up those campaign promises, I don’t care if they belong to the church of the flying spaghetti monster. They could literally be a member of the satanic temple and I, an actual practicing Christian, would give less shi*s than a constipated sloth."
"Edit: yes, I realize the Satanic Temple does not actually worship satan. I used it for that purpose. The Church of Satan has some…problematic views and I probably would not vote for someone who literally holds a platform of eugenics."
Some view the role of religion in politics as important.
"Religion can be relevant: I would have strong reservations about voting for a Scientologist, even if I agreed with the policies they proposed. I would have strong reservations voting for a member of an apocalyptic cult or, possibly worse, a follower of the (highly heretical) 'prosperity gospel,' which unfortunately includes more and more so-called 'evangelicals' — I didn't vote for George W. Bush, but it's not because he was an evangelical."
"It depends on the role: I'd probably be more flexible with a legislator than an executive (mayor, governor, president), as their character is IMO more important than for a legislator and their policy stances somewhat less important relative to a legislator."
"Satanic temple — well, that's just an organized group of atheists and humanists with an intentionally inflammatory choice of name. They're generally fine people."
A Bad Rap
"The Satanic Temple is an excellent organization that every decent person should be able to respect. A Church of Satan member, not so much."
"There's a huge difference between them!"
And Redditor boganvegan said it best.
"Better an open atheist than a fake Christian."
It all boils down to trustworthiness. Without full transparency, how could anyone put their faith in a candidate who spews nothing but lies?
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The special California recall election is just a few days away, and unsurprisingly the rhetoric and recriminations have been rising sharply in the Golden State.
Republican front-runner Larry Elder, who would likely replace Gavin Newsom if the recall succeeds, stoked the GOP base (and probably unwittingly motivated Democrats) by promising to replace Dianne Feinstein and shift the balance of power in the Senate to the GOP should she retire or die during his term. In addition, Elder's endorsement by pro-life activist Lila Rose, who trumpeted that Elder would use his line-item veto to cut all abortion funding and appoint right-to-life judges if elected, alarmed pro-choice activists already reeling from the developments nationwide including the Supreme Court's allowance of Texas's six-week abortion ban.
Anxiety hit a high earlier last week as a tweet, originating from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, circulated widely and warned that 76% of mail-in ballots have not yet been returned with just one week to go, sending many Democrats into a tailspin on social media. It has been widely reported that while polls of all voters favor keeping Newsom, polls among likely voters (i.e. those actually planning to or enthusiastic about voting) at one point showed a dead heat race. Would Democratic apathy simply hand the state over to the Republicans?
Meanwhile, far-right media has begun a steady campaign to discredit the recall election as fraudulent should it fail to unseat the governor. Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren declared, "The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud." She continued her spin, warning viewers to "[p]ay attention to the voter fraud going on in California because it's gonna have big consequences not only for that state, but for upcoming elections. Every bad idea originates in California, and that just happens to be where Kamala is from. No coincidence there."
First off, we can take a collective deep breath over Governor Newsom's poll numbers. While polls two weeks ago showed a closer race (within a few points and the margin of error), recent polling consistently demonstrates that the "keep" vote has built over a 10 point margin, with one poll that once had him in a dead heat now having him up over 20 points. As more Californians focus on the likely alternative of Larry Elder, who despite being African American is a radical in the mold of the former president, Newsom has begun to look far more palatable despite some voter reservations. Pundits like Lahren know and understand this, which is why they have begun to attack the election as fraudulent before any counting has even begun.
Also working in Newsom's favor is the fact that the mini-surge of the Delta variant in California has begun to subside, with the number of people hospitalized falling for the last week and likely to continue. Newsom's handling of the pandemic was in large measure the impetus for the recall, but as it becomes clearer to voters that the pandemic is now chiefly among the unvaccinated and far more prevalent in GOP-leaning rural counties, Newsom's leadership on Covid-19 has regained some of its footing.
But what about all those unreturned ballots? Couldn't the polls be way off, based on actual turnout? Are Democrats dangerously asleep at the wheel? Here's where we can take a second deep breath. With now 26 percent of mail-in ballots returned, the pace is running behind the 2020 election, but it isn't something to lose sleep over and generally feels typical of an off-cycle election. As of September 7th, the tally was 6,159,023 ballots returned compared to 7,910,555 ballots one week before the 2020 election. This is good news for Newsom because the skew in early balloting is heavily Democratic. By party registration, the breakdown in early ballots gives Democrats a 29.2% spread, compared to a 32.7% advantage one week out from the 2020 election. If that were to hold, the electorate would be around +25% Biden voters.
As in 2020, we should fully expect a surge of GOP voters on Election Day itself. Because of lingering mistrust of mail-in voting spread by the former president in 2020, many GOP voters prefer to vote in person. But that can be a bad thing in any close race (and this one isn't likely to be, at least at this time). Anything from voter apathy to bad weather can shift sentiment and turnout by a percentage point or more. To complicate matters, the former president recently appeared on conservative media to allege, once again, that the election will be rigged for the Democrats—a charge that could dampen enthusiasm among the MAGA base.
Democrats aren't letting their guard down despite the good poll numbers. Newsom has been barnstorming the state, focusing a lot of his attention on flagging support among Latino voters. To give him an assist, Vice President Kamala Harris is making campaign appearances, and she remains popular among minority voters in the state. President Joe Biden is also expected to join Newsom in the final days of the special election.
One thing to watch for: By law, California can begin counting mail-in ballots as soon as they arrive, but any that arrive on or up to a few days after Election Day will be counted last. That sets up a situation where, if the election is close because of high Election Day turnout by the GOP, right-wing media can gin up charges of "fraud" as the late-arriving mailed votes, which will skew heavily Democratic, are tabulated. This is precisely what happened in other jurisdictions in 2020 and helped feed the false narrative of the Big Lie. The public needs to be educated about the fact that a close election in California won't be decided for days or even weeks after as counts and audits proceed.
Microsoft Just Unveiled Technology That Will Allow Voters To Track Their Ballots In The 2020 Election
Microsoft is taking a stand to support election security.
The software company announced it would release an open-source software development kit called ElectionGuard.
ElectionGuard uses encryption techniques to let voters know once their ballots are counted.
More importantly: The software will, according to NPR, "allow election officials and third parties to verify election results to make sure there was no interference with the results.
CEO @SatyaNadella announced #ElectionGuard onstage @MicrosoftBuild this morning. Here’s why this should matter to d… https://t.co/dnYBC7Tc0e— Microsoft On the Issues (@Microsoft On the Issues) 1557174759.0
Microsoft developed ElectionGuard with computer science company Galois. The software will be available free of charge for election technology vendors.
ElectionGuard would provide voters with a unique code that would not reveal who or what they did or didn't vote for. Voters could then use the code to "follow" their vote from the moment they cast it.
Speaking to NPR, Tom Burt, Microsoft's vice president of customer security and trust, said:
"It's very much like the cybersecurity version of a tamper-proof bottle. Tamper-proof bottles don't prevent any hack of the contents of the bottle, but it makes it makes it harder, and it definitely reveals when the tampering has occurred."
According to Joe Kiniry, a principal scientist at Galois says his company will use this software as part of an open-source voting system that is being designed thanks to a grant from the Department of Defense.
It's not a perfect system, he says, but it should serve as a model for private companies "to build off of":
"It gives the ability to double-check, even if a system is terribly written, even if it's hackable, it gets detected. It's not magic pixie dust. We need this plus unhackable systems."
The team at Galois is certainly thrilled.
Excited to be working on ElectionGuard for @free_and_fair in collaboration with @Microsoft. I've been running the p… https://t.co/kNkn2WfqYC— Joey Dodds (@Joey Dodds) 1557158639.0
Just announced at Microsoft Build 2019: #ElectionGuard, an end-to-end verifiable elections SDK project that @kiniry… https://t.co/2XFPiQU0Pp— Daniel M. Zimmerman (@Daniel M. Zimmerman) 1557158433.0
And here are some words from some partners:
Columbia World Projects will partner with @Microsoft to pilot ElectionGuard technology, a free open-source software… https://t.co/i24YvGVURn— Columbia University (@Columbia University) 1557157141.0
We are partnering with Microsoft to develop #ElectionGuard, a software development kit for secure, end-to-end verif… https://t.co/9iHGFnOwrr— Free & Fair (@Free & Fair) 1557158718.0
As announced today, DARPA is partnering w/ @Microsoft & @galois to build & evaluate a verifiably secure voting syst… https://t.co/3jpu1ZGAm8— DARPA (@DARPA) 1557169356.0
Joe Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, says the technology would grant voters "the ability to track the ballot as it goes through the entire process":
"Similar to what voters have with packages, or pizza, it will say this is at this facility, it has been counted... This will help voters track their votes; it's going to build in this audibility that's sort of the holy grail. But it's not going to reach the smaller jurisdictions that don't have the money to upgrade or have older equipment."
The news comes just days after President Donald Trump said he discussed the "Russia hoax" in a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Asked whether he told Putin not to meddle in the next U.S. election after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion," he only said:
""We didn't discuss that. We discussed five or six things. We went into great detail on various especially the nuclear––especially, maybe, Venezuela. We talked about North Korea at great length… we also discussed trade. We intend to do a lot of trade with Russia."
According to the Mueller report, the investigation "identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign" and the Trump campaign "expected it would benefit" from Russian interference.
Microsoft's initiative is a welcome one considering the failure to address election interference in Washington.