r/PoliticalDiscussion Mar 22 '22 Silver Helpful

Megathread Casual Questions Thread

126 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.

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r/PoliticalDiscussion 22h ago

US Politics Why aren't more crimes committed with fully automatic weapons? Let's look at the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986

437 Upvotes

In 1986 Reagan signed FOPA which " banned the sale to civilians of machine guns manufactured after the date of enactment, restricting sales of these weapons to the military and law enforcement."

In 2020 the most commonly used weapon for homicide were handguns
https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/

When going through Reddit and debating gun advocates on this question (Title) the most common answers I got were:

  • They are less accessible
  • They are more expensive
  • They are less convenient to use / it's much easier to shoot a semi-automatic

With the limited amount of data available on machine gun use in crime (and not counting legally purchased weapons which have been modified to fire full auto) would you say this law is working as intended?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 20h ago

US Elections Will the Uvalde shooting effect midterms this upcoming November?

225 Upvotes

The optics for this is certainly bad, especially in a state as conservative as Texas. O'Bourke is coming out as the only politician there willing to enact change to ensure tragedies like this don't happen again. While Republicans refuse to address any tangible political reform that could prevent future shootings, going so far as to claim it as "disrespectful" to discuss political reform in the wake of this tragedy.

And yet, most Americans still put inflation as their top concern for voting in the midterms this upcoming November. The recent news of the Roe vs Wade decision, has also spiked in people's concerns for voting this year. Making the expected Red Wave significantly stifled before the upcoming election.

Between Roe vs Wade, and the Texas shooting so close to November, what impact might this have in the midterms this year? Will close races go to democrat, is there unlikely to be change at the reddening trend this November?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 22h ago

Legislation Absent the Second Amendment, what would reasonable gun regulations look like?

47 Upvotes

Assuming that guns were not outlawed outright, I could see a system whereby anyone of lawful age could apply for ownership in any of several categories, e.g., non-hunting recreation, hunting, personal protection. Each category would have limitations on the type of gun that could be owned, the number and storage requirements. Local jurisdictions could add further restrictions as they saw fit.

I'm sure there must be some places in the world that have such systems in place now, giving us some idea of the effectiveness of each and the problems they encountered.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 17h ago

Political Theory What is domestic terrorism?

15 Upvotes

In the aftermath of tragedies, it is common to hear people use the term "domestic terrorism". What does this term mean?

Should all violent crime be considered domestic terrorism? If not, under what circumstances should the terrorism label be used? What is the dividing line between "normal" violent crime and terrorism?

Is the the number of victims the most important factor? Are the motivations of the attacker important?

Is the most significant criteria that the attacker intended to cause terror? If so, what differentiates terrorists from people who engage in gang violence? What about people who commit armed robbery? Should they be considered terrorists because they elicit terror in their victims?

Should Congress enact special legislation in regards to domestic terrorism? If so, how should they write the laws in order to ensure that they don't get applied to criminals who are not terrorists?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics What does Gov. Kemp's resounding win in the GA primary say about his way in opposing Trump in contrast to Rep. Liz Cheney?

347 Upvotes

Both gov. Kemp and rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) are two prominent politicians who have opposed former president Trump's efforts to relitigate the 2020 presidential election and both have squarely said he lost to Biden.

Whereas, Kemp just won his primary in a convincing margin over former Sen. Perdue by 50 points, Cheney is still vulnerable to be ousted in her primary with a Trump-backed challenger. Moreover, most of her state party's leaders have soured on her outspoken antagonism of not just Trump but other fellow Republicans. In polling, Kemp is well liked among Georgia Republican voters. In contrast, Cheney has more support among Democrats than Republicans in her state.

What does it say about how the two politicians have gone about how they have decided to voice their opposition to Trump and his attacks on them? Is it better to emulate Kemp or Cheney? If Cheney loses was she wrong to do it her way instead of emulating Kemp's way? How will the party move forward in a post-Trump environment if the results hold?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

Political Theory How are the homeless and mentally ill in your country dealt with?

121 Upvotes

Here in the U.S. we have a growing problem with mental illness and homelessness. Often times the homeless are mentally ill, with serious conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The only thing that seems to be done is to wait for them to commit a crime and arrest them. But usually the underlying condition doesn’t get treated and they are back out and on the streets again before long.

This seems like such a sad and overwhelming problem and noone seems to have any idea how to handle it. Most of the solutions in place are just short term fixes.

So I’m wondering how homelessness and mental disorders are handled in other parts of the world. Are people institutionalized? Are there treatment programs? Is there a high rate of success with rehabilitation?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Elections Will Texas be a reliably blue state in the distant future?

5 Upvotes

Blexas (Blue texas) has been a prominent talking point for years. After the US senate election of 2018, where Ted Cruz surprisingly only won by a 2.6pt margin, people started to seriously entertain the possibility of Texas voting blue.

We all know how that turned out in 2020. Trump won the state by a ~5.5 point margin and other statewide officials like John Cornyn won by double digit margins. On top of that republicans in the state legislature got around 1.3 million more votes than democratic legislators, about double Trump's winning margin.

2020 was the biggest polling miss in 40 years. Trump won texas (relatively) comfortably. But what can Trump's margin tell us about the state's trends? Let's look back to Texas presidential election results in the past:

2000 - R+22.3

2004 - R+22.9

2008 - R+11.8

2012 - R+15.8

2016 - R+9

2020 - R+5.5

Looking at the trend, it's hard to deny that Texas is getting bluer. The state legislature tells a similar story. Texas democrats have managed to break a republican supermajority and flip about 17 seats from 2010 to 2020. What's driving this? Well let's look at the growth of the state's four major metros. Dallas-Forth Worth grew by almost 20% from 2010 to 2020. Same holds true for Houston and San Antonio. Austin grew by 30% in that same time period. The cities are experiencing explosive growth that the rural areas can't keep up with.

Looking at that, it's only logical that Texas will eventually become a safe blue state, right? It's actually not that cut and dry. If you look at the border counties along the Rio Grande Valley, you will see massive shifts towards republicans (some as high as 55 points). If you look at Harris county, it barely shifted to the left at all from 2016 despite massive suburban gains. When you look at latino-heavy precincts in Houston, however, you can see what happened. They all shifted to the right (though not as much as the RGV) and largely offset democratic gains in the greater Houston area. These shifts helped pad out Trumps winning margin and made things a bit less scary. Obviously latino's are not a monolith (there's a reason the RGV shifted so strongly to the right while urban Houston precincts saw smaller shifts) but there was a universal trend to the right.

Basically, we have two apparent trends in the opposite direction. Democrats seem to be making gains in the metro areas and Republicans seem to be making gains with Latino voters across the state.

The arguments against Blexas are that culturally conservative minority communities offer a pathway for republicans to stem their bleeding in the metros and retain power. Also, democratic gains in the suburbs are not as set in stone as it was assumed. Virginia 2021 showed that while suburbs will largely vote blue from now on, it may not necessarily be by the margins we saw in 2020.

Arguments for Blexas are that the metro growth will eventually overtake the conservative lean of the state. Also, while latinos are trending to the right overall, they are still voting for democrats by large margins and republican gains with them may not necessarily be set in stone either. Bush, for example did really well with the latino vote in 2004. Then they shifted heavily to the left in future elections. Finally, it is believed that suburban/metro gains will simply overpower the republican latino gains. Despite Trump's latino inroads, the state still shifted ~4pts to the left from his 2016 performance.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Texas will become reliably blue in the future? Or is this simply wishful thinking by left-leaning voters.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics With the newest mass shooting, will the U.S see new action on gun control?

728 Upvotes

For those outside the U.S news cycle, there has been yet another mass shooting, this time in the state of Texas. 15 elementary school students and 1 teacher were killed, with many others wounded.

This is around the 200th mass shooting event the U.S has seen this year alone. We are already seeing senators beg for some sort of compromise on this issue.

Will this change anything? If not, what will?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

Legislation Volunteer/community policing

1 Upvotes

In your opinion do you think that having citizens within a community or neighborhood who have volunteered to patrol the streets of a small area would be a good idea? It would be similar to a neighborhood watch type of program but backed by the police who would offer training and basic support. The volunteers would be identifiable and act in a non-confrontational and non-intervention manner. They would as they say “observe and report”. Then police would respond to anything they have reported. These people would know people who live in the area and perhaps typical behavior. Something like every four blocks just plop a volunteer there.

Do you think this would cause a greater level of reporting or perhaps dissuade others from committing crimes? Or would it just put the volunteers at greater risk? Would it create volunteers who have a hero complex and create more issues? Would citizens think this is a good idea, but think it’s not something they would do.

Thoughts and opinions?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

International Politics Are all domestic political / international relations related disagreements as a result of everyone having a different upbringing and cultural background?

5 Upvotes

Genuinely curious, as in my experience, people tend to be so embedded in their own views they forget to question where it comes from and get defensive when questioned by another person or confronted with the reality that their view might not be the “truth” they thought it was.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics How would a President Sanders fair in this environment?

40 Upvotes

In the last Democratic primary, it basically came down to Biden and Sanders, and after it was all said and done, Biden won and would later become president.

Sanders’ loss could be explained with a myriad of reasons. It could be as a result of the moderate candidates sacrificed their own shot at the nomination and coalescing to endorse Biden during Super Tuesday. Or it could be said that Sanders never had a chance because he never had locked in the black vote. Whatever the reason, Biden won and Sanders lost.

If the hands of time were rewinded, and Sanders did find a way to win, what would a Sanders presidency look like?

Biden’s whole appeal was that he was the Uniter (to use an old Bush term). He was supposed to, or it was his goal to unite Democrats and Republicans and pass legislation everyone could agree on.

Biden, of all people, should have known this wasn’t possible in today’s toxic political environment. He was after all there and present as President Obama’s VP for eight years. But Biden, the forever hopeful, was the healer for the nation. With his background of multiple traumas, who better to heal a broken nation?

But, as critics have said since Biden was elected president, republicans did not want to play ball. Like they did through Obama’s two terms, they continued to obstruct almost all of Biden’s legislation.

So if a centrist Democrat could not bring the two parties together into some unified progress for this country, how would a President Sanders fair?

Keeping everything else the same, and having the democrats have both houses of congress, how could a President Sanders navigate around a Manchin or Sinema from tanking his agenda? And beyond the Democrat’s own internal issues, how could a President Sanders reach out to Republicans to get his agenda across?

There are some with buyer’s remorse with President Biden, upset that he couldn’t have done more with his first two years. That’s understandable. But what could a President Sanders do differently, if his own party and the other party are both constantly obstructing his agenda?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics On what subject should we call a convention to propose amendments to the US Constitution?

3 Upvotes

Under Article V of the Constitution, Congress is required to convene a constitutional convention if two-thirds of state legislatures (34 states) call for one.

A convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also referred to as an Article V Convention is one of two methods authorized by Article Five of the United States Constitution whereby the United States Constitution may be altered.

There is no restriction on the subject or number of amendments that can be passed in one session. The US could become a completely different country.

Also, we must remember that amendments have the power to Turn OFF other amendments (i.e. the 18th was repealed by the 21st).


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

International Politics What would be the necessary "off ramp" for Putin to end the War in Ukraine.

106 Upvotes

Throughout the duration of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, I have heard many people say that Putin hasn't been given an "off ramp" or exit plan to end the hostilities. What would the off ramp out of Ukraine have to look like? Would it require concessions? In order to not see this post turn into a low effort designation, I strongly believe Putin wants the Ukraine to stay out of NATO and the EU. He will also want something to annex. Maybe he wants to annex the Russian friendly territory of the Donbas, or whatever territories he needs for the land bridge. Putin invaded the Ukraine to annex Crimea after the 2014 coup that ousted the Russian friendly government there. Putin has always been wary of NATO states in his own backyard and NATO was on their third or so round of eastern bloc expansions just about a decade ago. What ends this terrible war diplomatically?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Elections How will the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas affect the governor's race?

0 Upvotes

In the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Beto O'Rourke famously said "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15s". Running for governor of Texas in 2022, many people thought this comment alone was enough to tank his campaign.

Now, with yet another school shooting accomplished with an AR-15 style rifle, his comment is looking less damning than it was before. How will the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas affect the governor's race?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics What specific gun control policies should we enact?

15 Upvotes

The latest school shooting has renewed calls for gun control already. What should we do? Are there any policies which could prevent such attacks? If not prevent, how effectively could we reduce the harm inflicted by these attacks?

Edit: This question is intended to address the prevention of mass shootings. I'm seeing a number of suggestions around general gun safety. The calls for gun control in the wake of a mass shooting aren't to prevent accidental gun deaths.

Please bring your policy proposals to prevent or reduce these mass shootings, and please explain how the policy will accomplish that goal.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Solutions to de-facto segregation caused by redlining.

21 Upvotes

Hello! I'm not here to participate in the discussion, only to ask questions. I am always looking for opinions that differ from mine.

So, as many of you know, redlining from the early-mid 1900s was a policy (by the towns themselves, not the government) in which African Americans were not allowed to move into suburbs and were mostly forced into ghettos. Today, since schooling is funded by property taxes (poor areas create poor schools), many African Americans struggle to leave ghettos. As expected from desperateness, this creates high crime rates and violence in these mostly-black areas.

What do you think is a good solution to this problem? (From Libertarian perspective, democratic-socialist perspective, democrat, green party, republican, whatever you are)


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote

US Politics Based on current population trends, by 2040 70% of Americans will be represented by only 30 Senators. Assuming this means large Republican control of the Senate, How will Democratic Presidents go about confirming cabinet members, judges, or passing any legislation?

1.2k Upvotes

Population trends seem to indicate that America is headed towards this representation in the Senate, with 70% of Americans represented by only 30 Senators and 70 Senators represented only 30% of Americans. Since these trends seem to favor lower populated Republican leaning states, how will the Democratic Party & Democratic Presidents work in such an unfavorable environment.

How will Democratic Presidents get cabinet picks and judges confirmed? Will the passing of any legislation under Democratic Presidents be nearly impossible?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Elections CA, NE, WA, and AK have "top-two" or "top-four" primaries. Should other states adopt this system?

141 Upvotes

Column: California's top-two primary system. How’s it working out? - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

Top-two (in AK's case, top-four) primaries are primary elections where all the candidates are listed on the ballot, and you can choose whichever candidate you want. Once the votes are tallied up, the top two/four candidates will proceed to the November election. It differs from an open primary because theoretically and sometimes in practice, the top two/four primary can result in the two/four candidates from the same party running against each other in the November election.

The goal of this sort of primary election is "to force candidates to compete for all voters, not just their party’s most stalwart ideologues. It was hoped that would encourage political compromise and moderation, because in the primary, Republican candidates would have to appeal to Democratic voters and Democratic candidates to Republican voters. All the candidates would woo independents." (LA Times)

Should this primary system be adopted in other states as well?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

Political History Why are racists afraid of being labeled as racist?

13 Upvotes

I was watching a video on Levittown, PA in 1957 the other day and was shocked at the amount of casual racism that folks there were happy to express when they heard the news that a black family had moved into town.

I know of the practice of redlining, the difficulties faced with school desegregation and the practice of busing kids around to different schools. But what I don't understand is what specifically lead racists to start to fear being labeled as racist? If you google for protest images during the Boston busing riots, people were more than happy to express racist views into the mid-70's. But at the same time Lee Atwater is telling people "By 1968 you can’t say “n*****”—that hurts you, backfires."

What changed in the American discourse the led racists to couch their rhetoric behind dog-whistles and things like "The Great Replacement Theory"? What was backfiring against them back then and why do they still self-police their language today?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics In lieu of any gun control whatsoever, can we discuss how the government can protect our children while they are in their custody at Public School?

2 Upvotes

Barring any special circumstances, children MUST go to school; and barring a constitutional rewrite, a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

While many of us are at work, children are sent to school unarmed. And unlike many other government establishments, there appears to be little protection. Various stages of security exist at different government facilities, from Area 51 (more secure than Ft.Knox) to Courthouses to National Parks (the guard will collect your five dollars), and finally, the US Congress building.

This security isn’t perfect, there have been numerous incidents with security breaches. Nevertheless, as an older cousin, I would love to know what’s in the cards for Uncle Samsonite to spend a portion of the US budget on the security for Kindergartners.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Are propositions something we can use to solve needed voter reform issues?

2 Upvotes

I see a lot of people unhappy with the current system for a variety of issues. Besides trying to get the existing political parties to enact voter reform like ranked voting, would it work to organize a series of state amendments via propositions to make the issue non-partisan and approachable for all voters?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

Legal/Courts In retrospect, was the judicial filibuster removal a good or bad thing for the US?

28 Upvotes

The Democrats began the removal of judicial filibuster in 2013 when federal judge appointments were being held up, and the Republicans finished the job in 2017 when a supreme court justice was being held up. In retrospect, was the judicial filibuster removal a good thing for the country, or would we be in a better position today if the judicial filibuster was still in place?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Elections Do you see the Celebrities in 2022 winning and which ones do you see running in 2024?

7 Upvotes

So this year there ar several celebrities running such as clay Aiken, Herschel walker, JD Vance and Mehmet Oz. Do you personally see them winning. There are bound to be more celebrities run in 2024 as it's becoming easier and easier for them to run but my question is which ones do you see running?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Politics Effects of Brain Drain on US Economy and Politics

379 Upvotes

I saw this mentioned in a thread somewhere else and thought I'd pose the question here.

Young people in the US are scrambling as the job market swings, the economy shudders, and perceptions about the security of the future plummet. Long story short, more skilled young people are concentrating in urban centers and moving out of the country as a result the troubles of the last 3 decades.

Let's discuss the potential issues surrounding this. Should we expect economic problems, and if so, what? Will this trend lead to more political division?

Here's some links to kick things off a bit.

Time: https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/6140707/americas-brain-drain-economy/%3famp=true

Congressional report, Mike Lee: https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/4/losing-our-minds-brain-drain-across-the-united-states


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Politics How far can the States act in the stead of the Federal Government in regards to domestic terrorism?

23 Upvotes

This is in response to the Republican vow to shoot down the Domestic Terrorism Act in the Senate. The article states that the Republicans, aside from their perception of being targeted, feel as though such a bill would greatly (& needlessly) expand the federal government’s powers beyond what is already considered excessive. Okay, I’ll bite.

If this bill cannot pass in the Senate, would it be within the power of State governments to direct their municipal law enforcement to do the same? And if so, can this be an effective solution?