Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:11 am

Fridmarr wrote:The other group, in which I and the aforementioned Libertarians fall, are those that refer to themselves as fiscal conservatives or limited government conservatives. It's not nearly as small a group as I think many people here believe.

Ross Perot managed to get almost 20% of the popular vote, almost entirely from this group where they were willing to break from the republican party and vote for someone that was certain to lose, and at the same time ensure a democrat won the white house. It's hard to say how many were not willing to "waste" their vote in such a way. They followed that up with a historic 1994 trouncing of the democrats, giving republicans control of the house for the first time in 40 years.


I think you are giving too much credit to there being a conservative "silent majority". Court decisions regarding the Voting Rights Act resulted in a vastly increased (doubled from 27-56) number of majority ethnic-minority congressional districts for the 1994 election. Effectively, this created a systemic pro-republican gerrymander, and was the main reason for the wave election of 1994.

It is, combined with the most recent gerrymander with the 2010 redistricting, the reason why the democrats are unlikely to regain the House in 2014, despite having state-wide and national majorities of supporters.

Democrat voters are simply not very strategically distibuted. They tend to be concentrated into cities in a few districts that are EXTREMELY blue.

Fridmarr wrote:More recently you had the tea party, which made a splash and undid not just the super majority in both houses but the outright majority in one. Unfortunately, the tea party fairly quickly turned socially conservative in a massive way, and is all but dead now.


I have similar feelings about Occupy Wall Street. Alas, lost opportunities.

Fridmarr wrote:Consider this, the percentage of people who claim to be conservative are almost twice that of those that consider themselves to be liberal. It's more than 10% (relative not actual) bigger than those that consider themselves moderate, yet a democrat won the last two presidential elections pretty handily. Further, that while Obama was winning his first election and ushering in an almost unheard of super majority in both houses, the number of people calling themselves conservative, was rising significantly. As the number of conservatives has been rising, the number of republicans has been dropping. Democrats are winning because many conservatives don't vote for republicans, the republican party is shrinking because many conservatives don't even call themselves republicans, because the republican party has been dominated by (especially of late since fiscal conservatives are bailing) those social conservatives.


I'd argue that could be just an artifact in the data due to psychology. Regardless of someone's actual relative viewpoints, most people tend to think of themselves as either conservative or moderate, in the sense of being "reasonable" and "open-minded".
In this sense, a person in New Jersey may like unions, be pro-choice, in favor of the auto bailout, want military spending reduced by social spending increased, like Obamacare, and habitually vote for Democrats, but still call themselves a "conservative" when asked on a survey to describe themselves.

After all, they tell themselves, they are a good Catholic and not like those godless communists in New York or those lazy hippies in California! I work for a living! I am open-minded! I don't like crazy changes for no good reason! I can totally see myself voting for a Republican one day, I just haven't seen one I like yet.


Fridmarr wrote:
Brekkie wrote:Fridmarr has a different definition of "Conservative" than every single other Conservative I have ever met.
If I'm being honest, your summaries of "conservative" positions throughout this thread have frankly, astonished me. If I didn't otherwise respect you, I'd think you were just trolling. They are literally worse than I would expect to read from the "Think Progress Playbook for Conservatives are Idiots herp durp"

Although my personal experience couldn't be more different than yours (and I don't think any of the other conservatives that have posted in this thread fall under your definition either), there's really not much I can say about the folks you've met. I'm glad that you find me different than the other conservatives you've met because they sound like real assholes.


Here's an example of the kind of self-described "conservatives" I know. This appeared on my news feed today.

American Sniper and Seal team 3 member Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in U.S. History was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas. This wasn't a freak act of insanity or something the media may try to spin it up to, all these shootings are coincidentally happening when Nobama is trying to pass his ban or firearms. Think about it people, when the order is passed to kill Americans from the President who would they NOT want out there with a rifle? Maybe the deadliest sniper in history. This was an organized shooting, I don't care what anyone says, Obama had a bill passed where he could instate Marshall Law and kill American citizens if need be. People like Chris Kyle are labeled Terrorists by the Obama administration now days, this country is going to hell in a hand basket, and its sad that I have to sit here and watch it happen. God Bless men like Chris Kyle, and my prayers are with his family and friends. Semper Fi


I know hundreds of people who think like that, and only you who think like you. Maybe it's a generational thing. Maybe there's a huge culture war. Maybe we as a society have simply forgotten how to be rational. I don't know.

There's a study you like to quote (I actually just bought the book of the scientist who conducted it) which showed that self-described Conservatives were able to very accurately predict the way self-described Liberals would answer questions, but Liberals sucked at doing the reverse. I guess that I, myself, have been quite a good example of this failure in this very thread.

The implication of that which I've seen you make before is that Progressives don't understand Conservatives.
Perhaps.

Maybe, rather, it's simply the fact that there is a shocking lack of thoughtful, rational Conservatives able to popularly articulate that ideology.
And if that is true, what does that say about that ideology?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:26 am

Fridmarr wrote:For the record, you labeled anarchists as left. I didn't, but I think classically they do go there. I think maybe that our disconnect is that I do not consider Conservative and The Right as synonyms. For instance, you responded to my point about nazism not being conservative by hilighting some nazi principles that are on the right. Which is true, but that doesn't mean they are conservative, and in fact you specifically said that they were not conservative, which is very confusing. It was like you were arguing with me while trying to prove my point at the same time.


It was just your use of "polar opposite" that confused me. If we use the political compass thingy, the polar opposite of nazism/fascism is indeed anarchism, not conservatism. If we use Torquemadas funky Cultural/Economic Community/Individual scoring it's less certain, as current US conservatives end up all over the right side of the spectrum.

Anyway, the rambling point is that the difference between nazism and current US conservatism isn't that they disagree on everything (which is what I expect when I hear "polar opposite"), but rather that their main focus is on different parts on the spectrum - full economic freedom for conservatives, full authoriarianism for nazis.

The fun part is that so many very different people self-identify as Conservative. A US conservative would be a liberal in Europe, while a conservative is something else again.

I think they can still both deserve to be called conservative, because they both defend the traditions of their region - the constitution in the US and old privilege in Europe.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:49 pm

Brekkie wrote:Here's an example of the kind of self-described "conservatives" I know. This appeared on my news feed today.

American Sniper and Seal team 3 member Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in U.S. History was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas. This wasn't a freak act of insanity or something the media may try to spin it up to, all these shootings are coincidentally happening when Nobama is trying to pass his ban or firearms. Think about it people, when the order is passed to kill Americans from the President who would they NOT want out there with a rifle? Maybe the deadliest sniper in history. This was an organized shooting, I don't care what anyone says, Obama had a bill passed where he could instate Marshall Law and kill American citizens if need be. People like Chris Kyle are labeled Terrorists by the Obama administration now days, this country is going to hell in a hand basket, and its sad that I have to sit here and watch it happen. God Bless men like Chris Kyle, and my prayers are with his family and friends. Semper Fi


I know hundreds of people who think like that, and only you who think like you. Maybe it's a generational thing. Maybe there's a huge culture war. Maybe we as a society have simply forgotten how to be rational. I don't know.


So that guy thinks that:
Obama will or already issued orders to kill americans?
That the admin thought that "Oh yeah when we ban firearms, Chris Kyls will say bye to wife and kids and kill us all."
That they actually killed him as some kind of preemptive strike.
And the writer seems to think that Chris Kyle would actually do that to "save the people from the oppressive government."

Oh and he got his facts wrong. Deadliest sniper in US history doesn´t include deadliest sniper in history automatically.

He writer probably thinks that all these mass shootings that happened in the recent past were actuallly covert ops done by people who were mindcontrolled via CIA orbital mindcontrol lasers. Better get out the tinfoil hats.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:55 pm

Oh and he got his facts wrong. Deadliest sniper in US history doesn´t include deadliest sniper in history automatically.


Americans are automatically #1 in the world, don'tcha know?

Meanwhile, Simo Hayha's ghost is in a corner, crying.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:03 pm

He writer probably thinks that all these mass shootings that happened in the recent past were actuallly covert ops done by people who were mindcontrolled via CIA orbital mindcontrol lasers. Better get out the tinfoil hats.


Maybe he's Captain America

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:17 pm

OMG NOT MARSHALL LAW!
is that like Murphy's Law?

(yes i know he meant Martial, just being snarky :twstied: )

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:27 pm

Marshall Law is the cousin of Judge Dredd. :wink:
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:33 pm

Dantriges wrote:Marshall Law is the cousin of Judge Dredd. :wink:

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:11 pm

Brekkie wrote:I think you are giving too much credit to there being a conservative "silent majority". Court decisions regarding the Voting Rights Act resulted in a vastly increased (doubled from 27-56) number of majority ethnic-minority congressional districts for the 1994 election. Effectively, this created a systemic pro-republican gerrymander, and was the main reason for the wave election of 1994.
I think you linked the wrong research or misread it, but that research specifically says that the redistricting for MMD's did not have an adverse effect on the 1994 election results, like right in the abstract, a few tidbits:
We demonstrate that there is no significant difference in the level of partisan bias observed under redistricting plans with majority-minority districts and those without majority-minority districts. The claim that majority-minority districting has “perverse-effects” is not supported by the data....In the Senate, the Republicans gained 8 seats, giving them a 53-47 majority. We know that racial redistricting can at best provide only a partial answer to the Republican gains as there is no way redistricting caused the seat swings in the Senate...Not surprisingly, the data indicate that there is a positive increase in descriptive representation of minorities when majority-minority districts are present in
the redistricting plan. This is consistent with the previous research. We show further that there is no evidence to support the “perverse-effects” claim. Redistricting plans with MMDs do not exhibit a pro-Republican bias more than plans without MMDs.
Along with the Senate not being affected by gerrymandering, neither is the popular vote for president. Redistricting could have had some affect, but the sort of historic swings we saw in 1994 scale way beyond that. Not to mention the makeup and campaign tactics of that freshman class on the republican side was heavily fiscal conservative. Granted, that was easier then, there was not a particularly major social issue that broke across that social/fiscal conservative line then, so there was little risk of alienating one side. That's not the case now, and that line is fractured.

I don't think that fiscal conservatives are in the majority on the republican side of the house. When you start including those that are libertarians or independents it's probably pretty close. Either way it's a big group of enough significance that the republican party had rallied around it for some time, and does take up portions of their cause. They can not win without them. Further, I certainly don't think it's reasonable the way that so many folks just categorize all conservatives as the religious right and dismiss them.

Brekkie wrote:I'd argue that could be just an artifact in the data due to psychology. Regardless of someone's actual relative viewpoints, most people tend to think of themselves as either conservative or moderate, in the sense of being "reasonable" and "open-minded"...
Given the cultural position on conservatism, I don't think a desire to feel open-minded would be behind such reporting. That said there are more robust datasets as well. When independents are polled on a series of specific issues, they break down into three active groups. The first two are closet republicans and closet democrats, folks who claim independence but their stance is almost exclusively along party lines, and the last is the independents that aren't as consistent. About 60% of that group falls into the fiscal conservative category.

Brekkie wrote:Here's an example of the kind of self-described "conservatives" I know. This appeared on my news feed today...
I don't even know what to say to that. It's obviously pretty ridiculous at many levels. Suggesting that the president is having members of the military murdered is just off the board, I don't really have words for that. I don't know that I've seen anything like that on the standard news article comments and they are a disgusting cesspool. You don't think that could be a marine thing that causes you to encounter it so much do you?

I'm sorry that you know hundreds of people like that and I'm glad that I know none. I've certainly encountered some staunch socially conservative folks, particularly when I lived in Alabama, but again nothing like that. If people held those sort of beliefs they kept quiet about them.

Brekkie wrote:I know hundreds of people who think like that, and only you who think like you.
I'm starting to wonder where you think I fall on some of these issues. I'm not unusual for a fiscal conservative. I'm sure I don't agree with every position of someone else, but other folks who have posted on this thread as conservatives are pretty close to me. I'm not far off of John Huntsman who you claim would have been your vote for president. That dude's comments you just posted are no where near anyone I know of, even the worst republicans in office don't approach that.

Brekkie wrote: Maybe it's a generational thing.
All right...that one cuts... :cry:

Brekkie wrote:There's a study you like to quote (I actually just bought the book of the scientist who conducted it) which showed that self-described Conservatives were able to very accurately predict the way self-described Liberals would answer questions, but Liberals sucked at doing the reverse. I guess that I, myself, have been quite a good example of this failure in this very thread.
Well I don't know much about it, I wasn't the first one to link it here, but anecdotally it seems to fit my experience. However, if what you quoted is any indication of a typical opinion you are getting from conservatives, I think that's where the problem is. If half the country actually thought that way, we'd have massive problems.

Brekkie wrote:Maybe, rather, it's simply the fact that there is a shocking lack of thoughtful, rational Conservatives able to popularly articulate that ideology.
And if that is true, what does that say about that ideology?
Well I don't really buy a sort of guilt by association, I think that's a very very slippery slope.

In the media, there is a shocking lack of thoughtful, rational, conservatives and liberals. Neither side is very rational and they each seem to think the other is evil, which is very unfortunate. For every liberal starve the beast conspiracy theorist there's a conservative welfare state conspiracy theorist to match them. Far too many people on both sides seem to believe that the other is legitimately trying to harm everyone, instead of just having a different solution to the problems or viewing the problems differently.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:05 pm

Little late, but...
Economic Left/Right: -3.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.69
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:25 pm

Economic -3.62
Social -2.51
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:03 pm

Nooska wrote:@Torquemada I think the "quiz" you took was The Political Compass.
(I would be interested in seeing where everyone falls on it in here, I know I've moved left over the years)


Actually, that's not the one I was thinking of. The one I'm remembering was a diamond with Libertarian at the top. But it's probably been 10 years since the first time I saw it. This isn't it either, but it looked somewhat like this:
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I also took the MT quiz:
Economic Left/Right: 0.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.62

I took the liberty of updating the graph as well.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:08 pm

As far as the most recent Brekkie back and forth, I know several people like the ones Brekkie has mentioned, both on the right-wing wacko loon side of the discussion, and on the liberal hippie tard side. I manage through gritted teeth to stay associated with them on things like Facebook because I'm genuinely interested (And concerned) with the utter lunacy that is spewing from their mouths (Or in this case, fingertips).

The sheer fact that both side has crazies doesn't make either side crazy, or wrong. Additionally, what has rather irked me over the last several years is the need by many to build consensus. Having a consensus doesn't make you right. It just mean a larger group of people is possibly wrong. And the bigger the circus tent, the larger the space for the freak show.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:06 am

Economic: -3.8
Social: -7.5
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:12 am

Economic Left/Right: -5.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.33
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:41 am

So, apparently by the standards of this group, I'm the resident arch-conservative. Got it. =)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:08 am

In the most recent election, I was talking to my Gunnery Sergeant about the local-level ballot initiatives for our respective states. He asked which ones I had voted for, and I said I voted No on requests to open more state-run gambling sites, but Yes on a request to issue state bonds to pay for the cleaning up of a major pollution problem affecting the bay.

To my surprise, my Gunny snorted in derision.
"Ha! You consider THAT to be worth spending money on?"

"Err... yes. The bay is the lifeblood of the local economy of my home, and as an environmental resource, it is commons that no one would take care of otherwise. I think cleaning up pollution is good and is an appropriate function for government."

We proceeded to get into a long argument where his point of view basically boiled down to "Debt is bad, anything that requires going into debt to do is by definition not worth doing. Additonally, the private sector will clean up the environment."
Obviously, I felt quite differently, about both points.



That attitude is basically what I associate with fiscal conservatism. And I quite frankly do not understand it. It does not make sense to me. It does not seem internally consistent, or coherently rational. It feels to me more like naive, folksy oversimplifications and wishful thinking than a serious political stance.

At the end of the day, things cost money. Additionally, there is nothing inherently bad about managed debt. That is the disconnect I have with fiscal conservatism. Progressives don't want to be profligate purely for its own sake, we want minimal taxes just as much as the next person. But ultimately at some point you have to pay the bills and acknowledge reality.

We can quibble over implementation and details, and disagree over precisely what functions of government are worthwhile, but the striking thing about American politics is that there honestly is not a whole lot of disagreement in that regard. Even among so-called small-government fiscal conservatives, the social safety net and benefits such as social security and medicaid are extremely popular. Defense, similarly, is untouchably sacrosanct to conservatives. And then there is the discretionary spending which covers the STEM investments, roads, infrastructure, and basic functions of government that everyone claims to support.

So what is left? Not a whole lot.
This is the ugly truth about fiscal conservative ranting about our "big government" and profiligate ways. The vast majority of the budget is made up of things the overwhelming majority of Americans support and do not want cut. If you ask Americans whether we should cut spending they answer yes, but if you name programs to reduce or eliminate they say no to every single one. The fact is that welfare queens, Big Bird, and Planned Parenthood are simply such miniscule amounts of money as to be not even worth discussing in any serious debate over spending. Yet conservative politicians have been forced to pretend that major cuts can be accomplished on the back of this smokescreen, knowing that even their own constituents would not support the dismantlement of the New Deal.

America is a country with a big government that taxes like it has a small government.

Fiscal conservativism sounds really great, but under scrutiny holds nothing original not already encompassed by progressive ideas, while at the same time laboring under a false view of reality that we can somehow have our cake and eat it too through generous social programs, pensions, and a big military, while simultaneously paying low taxes.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:06 am

New chart with everyon up to this post in it (old link updated for the last time):
Maintankadin Crowd Chart

Edit; and no suprise that I'm still the leftist - I do self-describe myself as a socialist (specifically "peoples socialism, though that translates to sound like chinese brand of socialism, its a danish coined term "folkesocialist" from the tradition of "folkepartier" - peoples parties, I guess the closest would be a "movement")

Edit: Updated for lythac.
Last edited by Nooska on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby lythac » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:56 am

Economic Left/Right: -1.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.23
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:15 am

Economic Left/Right: -4.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.38

So far, almost everyone's a socialist. :lol:
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:52 am

I think it's extremely weird that I'm the most "pro-liberty" dude here, given that I'm in favour of big government, high taxes and have sympathies for Karl Marx :D

I think that quiz misses a lot of elements.

edit: Or maybe that's all covered by the "left/right" axis?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:12 am

I think the worst part is that there's no neutral answer
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:43 am

I was surprised I wasn't further left economically. I think the number of questions is a bit limited on this quiz, really.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:59 am

Brekkie wrote:Here's an example of the kind of self-described "conservatives" I know. This appeared on my news feed today.

American Sniper and Seal team 3 member Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in U.S. History was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas. This wasn't a freak act of insanity or something the media may try to spin it up to, all these shootings are coincidentally happening when Nobama is trying to pass his ban or firearms. Think about it people, when the order is passed to kill Americans from the President who would they NOT want out there with a rifle? Maybe the deadliest sniper in history. This was an organized shooting, I don't care what anyone says, Obama had a bill passed where he could instate Marshall Law and kill American citizens if need be. People like Chris Kyle are labeled Terrorists by the Obama administration now days, this country is going to hell in a hand basket, and its sad that I have to sit here and watch it happen. God Bless men like Chris Kyle, and my prayers are with his family and friends. Semper Fi


I know hundreds of people who think like that, and only you who think like you. Maybe it's a generational thing. Maybe there's a huge culture war. Maybe we as a society have simply forgotten how to be rational. I don't know.


That conservative you know is gonna have a field day with this article
http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/20 ... icans?lite
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:03 am

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02 ... d-families
Kids aren't going to charter schools if they're "A" students. They go to charter schools because they're failing students and, by and large, the charter schools have a higher percentage of poor families, ethnically challenged families…

I guess.... your ethnicity handicap is inversely proportional to the melanin in your skin...
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