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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:43 pm 
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RaggedMan wrote:
Saz wrote:
Another question for the ignorant Brit here Blake if you don't mind:

Are there equivalents in the USA to the local elections here?

In the UK, every few years there is a local election for a particular area (called a constituency) that is either a whole or part of a county. This election decides who represents that constituency in the Parliament. So for example, there might be a local election for East Cambridgeshire (my constituency) and whichever individual wins the election, has a seat as the East Cambridgeshire representative regardless of the 'official' leading party. So as a hypothetical, say a Labour representative got elected, he would sit in the parliament, even if the ruling part was still Tory.

I'm not Blake, obviously, but another American.

Congress has 2 houses just like Parliament. The House of Representatives (The House) and the Senate.

Elections for The House is much like you describe for the House of Commons, and each state has a different number of representatives depending on the population of the state. More people, more representatives. While in the Senate each state regardless of size or population gets 2 representatives each.

Elections for both houses are by popular vote within their individual districts, or in the case of Senators they are elected by statewide popular vote. Representatives in the House are elected to 4 year terms and Senators 6 years.

The system is set up so that neither chamber will have 100% turn over in a given election cycle, which is why you'll sometimes hear about mid-term elections. These are elections held in between Presidential elections and can see up to 50% change in a given chamber swaying the majority in for or against the sitting presidents party.

Edit: To actually answer your question. :blush:
The person elected in their district serves regardless of which party currently has the majority in congress.


Thanks, Ragged... good answer except for one item.

The House of Representatives term is only for two years in most states (44 states). Only Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi and North Dakota have a four-year terms... something that I was not aware of until now, as every state that I have lived in has 2 year terms for the representatives.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:35 pm 
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Question for Blake or any of his compatriots - from a politically ignorant Brit - me! Bit off topic but still with the good ole USA and her politics. I for one was excited at the prospect of Obama breaking down certain barriers and entering the White House as President. A couple of terms on, i can't help but feel that his presidency has been a bit of a "damp squid". I am a self confessed "ignoramus" when it comes to American politics so maybe it's rather a simplistic view to be taking. I really don't know what i was expecting but i feel there was a lot of initial promise that hasn't quite delivered. I'm interested to know how other Americans, generally, view his legacy? :?:

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Last edited by aice on Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:38 pm 
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aice, You can probably ask 100 people and get 100 different answers on that question. There are many who are going to be disappointed in what he had done or failed to do.

However, from my point of view...and I emphasize that I am only speaking for myself... I think that he has done well. I am nearing 70 years of age and have lived under 12 presidents, but I can't recall any of them having to deal with the issues that Obama has had to. Though the opposition scream to high-heaven at the suggestion, I think that Obama's color has been a problem for some, but that isn't the biggest issue he has had to deal with. As I see it, a disfunctional congress has hurt him the most. The partisan politics that we have now has crippled congress to the point of them being like an anchor... just dragging everything along, but going nowhere. No matter how good an idea might be floated, you can bet that the other party will fight it tooth & nail. If it were their idea, the would shout from the mountains how good an idea it is.

Obama gets criticized for how he has gone outside of congress to get some things done (Obamacare for example), but I don't see him as having had much choice, as waiting for congress to come up with something that they can agree with was never going to work. Last I knew, he still had appointments (courts primarily) being held up... leaving the position vacant for years! It is everything for the party, to hell with what might be best for the country. This kind of partisanship (both parties) has poisoned the congress and crippled this country (another reason that I am an independent)

Of course, the national debt has risen dramatically (a massive understatement) and he has his share of blame in that, however, he inherited a might mess with massive costs attached to them... such as two unfunded wars. Our international relationships were terrible, but I think that Obama has helped that, at least a little bit.

So, as I see it, he has done a decent job given the circumstances and I can't think of any candiate that I would have expected to do more. Can you imagine Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Party running this country? That scares the hell out of me.

I suspect that his legacy will be much better as in time we look back on Obama than it will be over the next few years. Don't know if I will be around to see it, but I hope so.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Blake wrote:
aice, You can probably ask 100 people and get 100 different answers on that question. There are many who are going to be disappointed in what he had done or failed to do.

However, from my point of view...and I emphasize that I am only speaking for myself... I think that he has done well. I am nearing 70 years of age and have lived under 12 presidents, but I can't recall any of them having to deal with the issues that Obama has had to. Though the opposition scream to high-heaven at the suggestion, I think that Obama's color has been a problem for some, but that isn't the biggest issue he has had to deal with. As I see it, a disfunctional congress has hurt him the most. The partisan politics that we have now has crippled congress to the point of them being like an anchor... just dragging everything along, but going nowhere. No matter how good an idea might be floated, you can bet that the other party will fight it tooth & nail. If it were their idea, the would shout from the mountains how good an idea it is.

Obama gets criticized for how he has gone outside of congress to get some things done (Obamacare for example), but I don't see him as having had much choice, as waiting for congress to come up with something that they can agree with was never going to work. Last I knew, he still had appointments (courts primarily) being held up... leaving the position vacant for years! It is everything for the party, to hell with what might be best for the country. This kind of partisanship (both parties) has poisoned the congress and crippled this country (another reason that I am an independent)

Of course, the national debt has risen dramatically (a massive understatement) and he has his share of blame in that, however, he inherited a might mess with massive costs attached to them... such as two unfunded wars. Our international relationships were terrible, but I think that Obama has helped that, at least a little bit.

So, as I see it, he has done a decent job given the circumstances and I can't think of any candiate that I would have expected to do more. Can you imagine Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Party running this country? That scares the hell out of me.

I suspect that his legacy will be much better as in time we look back on Obama than it will be over the next few years. Don't know if I will be around to see it, but I hope so.


Thanks for that. For someone (me) who is intrigued but completely unlearned about what goes on in the corridors of American power, that’s an interesting viewpoint Blake. Much appreciated. What do you think of Hilary Clinton as a candidate? My political leanings have always slightly been towards the left. I have great admiration for Clinton. I like some of her policies and she’s a fantastic orator, very politically experienced, intelligent and strong. Personally,i think she would make a fine first female President. Again, my views may be a little simplistic due to my lack of knowledge of the American political system and economy but that's what i see.

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Last edited by aice on Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:59 pm 
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Blake wrote:
RaggedMan wrote:
Saz wrote:
Another question for the ignorant Brit here Blake if you don't mind:

Are there equivalents in the USA to the local elections here?

In the UK, every few years there is a local election for a particular area (called a constituency) that is either a whole or part of a county. This election decides who represents that constituency in the Parliament. So for example, there might be a local election for East Cambridgeshire (my constituency) and whichever individual wins the election, has a seat as the East Cambridgeshire representative regardless of the 'official' leading party. So as a hypothetical, say a Labour representative got elected, he would sit in the parliament, even if the ruling part was still Tory.

I'm not Blake, obviously, but another American.

Congress has 2 houses just like Parliament. The House of Representatives (The House) and the Senate.

Elections for The House is much like you describe for the House of Commons, and each state has a different number of representatives depending on the population of the state. More people, more representatives. While in the Senate each state regardless of size or population gets 2 representatives each.

Elections for both houses are by popular vote within their individual districts, or in the case of Senators they are elected by statewide popular vote. Representatives in the House are elected to 4 year terms and Senators 6 years.

The system is set up so that neither chamber will have 100% turn over in a given election cycle, which is why you'll sometimes hear about mid-term elections. These are elections held in between Presidential elections and can see up to 50% change in a given chamber swaying the majority in for or against the sitting presidents party.

Edit: To actually answer your question. :blush:
The person elected in their district serves regardless of which party currently has the majority in congress.


Thanks, Ragged... good answer except for one item.

The House of Representatives term is only for two years in most states (44 states). Only Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi and North Dakota have a four-year terms... something that I was not aware of until now, as every state that I have lived in has 2 year terms for the representatives.

Ha! You're right. Although I grew up in California I've spent most of my voting life in Maryland so the 4 year term is kinda stuck in my head.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:04 pm 
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So, once you register to vote as, whatever, does that mean you have to vote for that party only?

I am a little bothered by having to declare your colours before voting, I see it as a private matter. Does anyone have access to what you claim your party is?
IE, turn up for work and be told by your boss that vote was bad for our company, change or get fired?


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:28 pm 
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moby wrote:
So, once you register to vote as, whatever, does that mean you have to vote for that party only?

I am a little bothered by having to declare your colours before voting, I see it as a private matter. Does anyone have access to what you claim your party is?
IE, turn up for work and be told by your boss that vote was bad for our company, change or get fired?


No moby... only in the primary voting do you vote for the party you are affiliated with. In the General Election, you can vote for whomever you choose. No one has access to your political affiliations unless you tell someone. Even still, there have been cases of bosses telling you who to vote for (the Koch Brothers tried to do that last presidential election, threating them with dismissal if they didn't vote Republican) but since they can't see your ballot, they can't really know who you voted for.

Your vote is a very private matter, unless you choose to reveal it.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Blake wrote:
moby wrote:
So, once you register to vote as, whatever, does that mean you have to vote for that party only?

I am a little bothered by having to declare your colours before voting, I see it as a private matter. Does anyone have access to what you claim your party is?
IE, turn up for work and be told by your boss that vote was bad for our company, change or get fired?


No moby... only in the primary voting do you vote for the party you are affiliated with. In the General Election, you can vote for whomever you choose. No one has access to your political affiliations unless you tell someone. Even still, there have been cases of bosses telling you who to vote for (the Koch Brothers tried to do that last presidential election, threating them with dismissal if they didn't vote Republican) but since they can't see your ballot, they can't really know who you voted for.

Your vote is a very private matter, unless you choose to reveal it.


Good. Even though it is none of my concern in reality, I did not like the idea.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:19 pm 
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Blake wrote:
aice, You can probably ask 100 people and get 100 different answers on that question. There are many who are going to be disappointed in what he had done or failed to do.

However, from my point of view...and I emphasize that I am only speaking for myself... I think that he has done well. I am nearing 70 years of age and have lived under 12 presidents, but I can't recall any of them having to deal with the issues that Obama has had to. Though the opposition scream to high-heaven at the suggestion, I think that Obama's color has been a problem for some, but that isn't the biggest issue he has had to deal with. As I see it, a disfunctional congress has hurt him the most. The partisan politics that we have now has crippled congress to the point of them being like an anchor... just dragging everything along, but going nowhere. No matter how good an idea might be floated, you can bet that the other party will fight it tooth & nail. If it were their idea, the would shout from the mountains how good an idea it is.

Obama gets criticized for how he has gone outside of congress to get some things done (Obamacare for example), but I don't see him as having had much choice, as waiting for congress to come up with something that they can agree with was never going to work. Last I knew, he still had appointments (courts primarily) being held up... leaving the position vacant for years! It is everything for the party, to hell with what might be best for the country. This kind of partisanship (both parties) has poisoned the congress and crippled this country (another reason that I am an independent)

Of course, the national debt has risen dramatically (a massive understatement) and he has his share of blame in that, however, he inherited a might mess with massive costs attached to them... such as two unfunded wars. Our international relationships were terrible, but I think that Obama has helped that, at least a little bit.

So, as I see it, he has done a decent job given the circumstances and I can't think of any candiate that I would have expected to do more. Can you imagine Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Party running this country? That scares the hell out of me.

I suspect that his legacy will be much better as in time we look back on Obama than it will be over the next few years. Don't know if I will be around to see it, but I hope so.


From an outsider’s point of view we definitely do get the impression he has not lived up to the hype and has not been able to deliver what was hoped he would or could.

But (and a BIG BUT) I think it is also a widely held view across Europe that any apparent failure is less to do with Obama himself and more down to the shackles of congress.

Which, again from an outsider’s point of view, is a real real shame as we genuinely had very high expectations (especially following you know who).
(incidentally, compared to what we have in the UK, congress and it’s two houses look like something quite progressive and modern, what a fu##ing thought!)


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:03 am 
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What started as a topic about a silly man has turned into a really good and informative thread! :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:22 pm 
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Biffa wrote:
Blake wrote:
aice, You can probably ask 100 people and get 100 different answers on that question. There are many who are going to be disappointed in what he had done or failed to do.

However, from my point of view...and I emphasize that I am only speaking for myself... I think that he has done well. I am nearing 70 years of age and have lived under 12 presidents, but I can't recall any of them having to deal with the issues that Obama has had to. Though the opposition scream to high-heaven at the suggestion, I think that Obama's color has been a problem for some, but that isn't the biggest issue he has had to deal with. As I see it, a disfunctional congress has hurt him the most. The partisan politics that we have now has crippled congress to the point of them being like an anchor... just dragging everything along, but going nowhere. No matter how good an idea might be floated, you can bet that the other party will fight it tooth & nail. If it were their idea, the would shout from the mountains how good an idea it is.

Obama gets criticized for how he has gone outside of congress to get some things done (Obamacare for example), but I don't see him as having had much choice, as waiting for congress to come up with something that they can agree with was never going to work. Last I knew, he still had appointments (courts primarily) being held up... leaving the position vacant for years! It is everything for the party, to hell with what might be best for the country. This kind of partisanship (both parties) has poisoned the congress and crippled this country (another reason that I am an independent)

Of course, the national debt has risen dramatically (a massive understatement) and he has his share of blame in that, however, he inherited a might mess with massive costs attached to them... such as two unfunded wars. Our international relationships were terrible, but I think that Obama has helped that, at least a little bit.

So, as I see it, he has done a decent job given the circumstances and I can't think of any candiate that I would have expected to do more. Can you imagine Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Party running this country? That scares the hell out of me.

I suspect that his legacy will be much better as in time we look back on Obama than it will be over the next few years. Don't know if I will be around to see it, but I hope so.


From an outsider’s point of view we definitely do get the impression he has not lived up to the hype and has not been able to deliver what was hoped he would or could.

But (and a BIG BUT) I think it is also a widely held view across Europe that any apparent failure is less to do with Obama himself and more down to the shackles of congress.

Which, again from an outsider’s point of view, is a real real shame as we genuinely had very high expectations (especially following you know who).
(incidentally, compared to what we have in the UK, congress and it’s two houses look like something quite progressive and modern, what a fu##ing thought!)

I think Blake's summary is an excellent one. Well done, sir! The only thing I would add, which he hints at but doesn't state outright, is that ANY president will be unable to fulfill the hype and promises. So much of a big deal is made of the presidential election that people expect a new President of the United States to be able to make sweeping changes when, in my opinion, the powers of the president are much smaller in scope than the hype would have everyone believe. This is not surprising when we remember that the presidency was set up as only one of the three parts of government, and the office was specifically set up to prevent any one person from holding too much power. With 100 people in the senate and over 400 in the house of representatives and with the Supreme Court being very low key, it is only natural that the part of government with only one face attached to it becomes the face of the entire nation, regardless of the position's actual ability to wield power and create change. That power comes when the President and Congress work together, which hasn't happened in a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:33 pm 
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moby wrote:
Blake wrote:
moby wrote:
So, once you register to vote as, whatever, does that mean you have to vote for that party only?

I am a little bothered by having to declare your colours before voting, I see it as a private matter. Does anyone have access to what you claim your party is?
IE, turn up for work and be told by your boss that vote was bad for our company, change or get fired?


No moby... only in the primary voting do you vote for the party you are affiliated with. In the General Election, you can vote for whomever you choose. No one has access to your political affiliations unless you tell someone. Even still, there have been cases of bosses telling you who to vote for (the Koch Brothers tried to do that last presidential election, threating them with dismissal if they didn't vote Republican) but since they can't see your ballot, they can't really know who you voted for.

Your vote is a very private matter, unless you choose to reveal it.


Good. Even though it is none of my concern in reality, I did not like the idea.

The whole thing is kind of confusing. In the actual election of the president, the house of representatives and the senate (as well as numerous other state and local positions), every registered voter can vote for whomever they like. Period. Secret ballot.

However, those elections will only see one candidate from each party for each position (along with any other candidates who manage to qualify outside of the political party system). The way each party decides who their candidate will be is through primary elections held earlier. The republican primaries next spring will decide which of the many republican presidential candidates will be the one republican candidate on the ballot in the general election next November. It is these primary ballots which can (in most states) only be voted on be people registered for that party.

As a registered democrat, I can vote in the democratic primary, between Bernie and Hillary, but I cannot vote in the republican primary. Since registering really only determines which primary you can vote in, some voters will change their registration each election cycle so that they can vote in the most interesting primaries.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:35 pm 
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Oh dear, just seen the BBC news. To the long list of people Donald Trump has insulted, we can now add the Scottish government and it’s former first Minister! In regards to the offshore wind farm debacle, Trump has now blasted those in Holyrood as “small minded and parochial” while labelling Alex Salmond as an “ irrelevant has been”! I dread to think what this man would do for America’s foreign relations should by some miracle he finds his way into the White House! Where is his tact? Where is his diplomacy? As a political novice and outsider, i am at a loss to understand why he is currently the leading Republican presidential candidate :?:

Had a quick peek at the GOP presidential debate last night. Trump was branded as “a chaos candidate” who would be “a chaos president” by Jeb Bush! Maybe Bush has a point! While fascinating, and at times informative, i had to remind myself that i wasn’t watching something out a soap opera! At times, i found the whole thing curiously amusing! :lol:

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Last edited by aice on Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:07 pm 
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Biffa wrote:
From an outsider’s point of view we definitely do get the impression he has not lived up to the hype
Isn't that why it is/was hype?

My overriding sentiment regarding the US presidency over the past 15 years, is that the US public/voters/Congress have shown a terrible sense of timing. They did under Obama what they should have done under Bush Jr.: reign in their president. It would have saved thousands of innocent lives, both abroad and at home. Not to mention the enormous funds thrown away.

"Making the US great again" would make perfect sense, if it weren't uttered by someone like Trump. Even before the elections, he's already doing immeasurable damage to the US's international reputation.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:19 pm 
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aice wrote:

Thanks for that. For someone (me) who is intrigued but completely unlearned about what goes on in the corridors of American power, that’s an interesting viewpoint Blake. Much appreciated. What do you think of Hilary Clinton as a candidate? My political leanings have always slightly been towards the left. I have great admiration for Clinton. I like some of her policies and she’s a fantastic orator, very politically experienced, intelligent and strong. Personally,i think she would make a fine first female President. Again, my views may be a little simplistic due to my lack of knowledge of the American political system and economy but that's what i see.


Sorry I didn't see this question earlier, aice...

The first thing I have to say about Hilary is that she is, by far in my opinion, the most "presidential" of all the candidates in either party. As you stated, she is a very good orator, certainly politically experience and in the debates so far she seems to be the most "steady" candidate, not easily rattled.

The down side is that she will be "tied" to the actions of the Obama presidency and that alone is enough to make her life difficult by the opposing party. While Obama had to fight the race issue, I suspect that Hilary will also have a side issue... the "gender" issue. The good old boys aren't going to like that, I fear.

As along as trump stays in this, and keeps shooting off his mouth, massaging his own ego, and keeping the Republicans on "defense", I suspect that Hilary and the Dems are truly excited and likely going to dance into the White House again. The are certainly vulnerable, but trump has made Republican in-fighting the order of the day, giving her time to strengthen her campaign. They may regret it(trump) more than they know.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:28 am 
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Biffa wrote:
Blake wrote:
aice, You can probably ask 100 people and get 100 different answers on that question. There are many who are going to be disappointed in what he had done or failed to do.

However, from my point of view...and I emphasize that I am only speaking for myself... I think that he has done well. I am nearing 70 years of age and have lived under 12 presidents, but I can't recall any of them having to deal with the issues that Obama has had to. Though the opposition scream to high-heaven at the suggestion, I think that Obama's color has been a problem for some, but that isn't the biggest issue he has had to deal with. As I see it, a disfunctional congress has hurt him the most. The partisan politics that we have now has crippled congress to the point of them being like an anchor... just dragging everything along, but going nowhere. No matter how good an idea might be floated, you can bet that the other party will fight it tooth & nail. If it were their idea, the would shout from the mountains how good an idea it is.

Obama gets criticized for how he has gone outside of congress to get some things done (Obamacare for example), but I don't see him as having had much choice, as waiting for congress to come up with something that they can agree with was never going to work. Last I knew, he still had appointments (courts primarily) being held up... leaving the position vacant for years! It is everything for the party, to hell with what might be best for the country. This kind of partisanship (both parties) has poisoned the congress and crippled this country (another reason that I am an independent)

Of course, the national debt has risen dramatically (a massive understatement) and he has his share of blame in that, however, he inherited a might mess with massive costs attached to them... such as two unfunded wars. Our international relationships were terrible, but I think that Obama has helped that, at least a little bit.

So, as I see it, he has done a decent job given the circumstances and I can't think of any candiate that I would have expected to do more. Can you imagine Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Party running this country? That scares the hell out of me.

I suspect that his legacy will be much better as in time we look back on Obama than it will be over the next few years. Don't know if I will be around to see it, but I hope so.


From an outsider’s point of view we definitely do get the impression he has not lived up to the hype and has not been able to deliver what was hoped he would or could.

But (and a BIG BUT) I think it is also a widely held view across Europe that any apparent failure is less to do with Obama himself and more down to the shackles of congress.

Which, again from an outsider’s point of view, is a real real shame as we genuinely had very high expectations (especially following you know who).
(incidentally, compared to what we have in the UK, congress and it’s two houses look like something quite progressive and modern, what a fu##ing thought!)


I should add, though, that there was a window in which Obama really could've done more. In his first two years in office, the Democrats had control of Congress. Obama perhaps overestimated the Republicans willingness to work with him, and IMO did not take full advantage of the majority his party had, which is why a number of the bills that were passed at the time we're "watered down" due to giving up too much to appease Republicans. The Democrats had no bite and no bark even though they were top dog, something the Republicans exploited in the campaigns prior to the elections that saw Democrats lose the majority in Congress in 2010.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:36 am 
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Awesome. Thanks for the answers and the other informed posts above. It's quite interesting to learn a bit more about the American political system

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:30 am 
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Blake wrote:
.

As along as trump stays in this, and keeps shooting off his mouth, massaging his own ego, and keeping the Republicans on "defense", I suspect that Hilary and the Dems are truly excited and likely going to dance into the White House again. The are certainly vulnerable, but trump has made Republican in-fighting the order of the day, giving her time to strengthen her campaign. They may regret it(trump) more than they know.



Regarding this Republican "infighting", latest news suggest that Jeb Bush may even be secretly preparing to support the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination! There are also recent reports that suggests the big-money Republican donors are contemplating supporting Clinton if Trump continues to top the GOPs. The grin on Mrs Clinton's face must be a mile wide at the moment! As an outsider, it's all fascinating stuff!

By the way, thanks for your insight and opinion on Hilary Clinton and the obstacles that she may encounter. Much Appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:36 pm 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:

I should add, though, that there was a window in which Obama really could've done more. In his first two years in office, the Democrats had control of Congress. Obama perhaps overestimated the Republicans willingness to work with him, and IMO did not take full advantage of the majority his party had, which is why a number of the bills that were passed at the time we're "watered down" due to giving up too much to appease Republicans. The Democrats had no bite and no bark even though they were top dog, something the Republicans exploited in the campaigns prior to the elections that saw Democrats lose the majority in Congress in 2010.


Yes... and no... Snake

While I agree that for a time he did have a Democratic majority in the Senate, but by the time Obama took office, I believe that the House of Representatives was already controlled by the Republicans, by a fair margin. I agree that Obama did things to appease Republicans initially, but, as I recall it, most Presidents do tend to give a bit to the other side of the aisle in order to try to establish a bi-partisan working relationship. Unfortunately for the US, the Republicans were pretty firmly set in their "no" doctrine... especially with the growing influence of the tea party. "overestimation of the Republicans willingness to work with him" might even be a but of an understatement... McConnell in the Senate made that clear very early on... and there was never even a start in the House.
:(

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:48 pm 
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Blake wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:

I should add, though, that there was a window in which Obama really could've done more. In his first two years in office, the Democrats had control of Congress. Obama perhaps overestimated the Republicans willingness to work with him, and IMO did not take full advantage of the majority his party had, which is why a number of the bills that were passed at the time we're "watered down" due to giving up too much to appease Republicans. The Democrats had no bite and no bark even though they were top dog, something the Republicans exploited in the campaigns prior to the elections that saw Democrats lose the majority in Congress in 2010.


Yes... and no... Snake

While I agree that for a time he did have a Democratic majority in the Senate, but by the time Obama took office, I believe that the House of Representatives was already controlled by the Republicans, by a fair margin. I agree that Obama did things to appease Republicans initially, but, as I recall it, most Presidents do tend to give a bit to the other side of the aisle in order to try to establish a bi-partisan working relationship. Unfortunately for the US, the Republicans were pretty firmly set in their "no" doctrine... especially with the growing influence of the tea party. "overestimation of the Republicans willingness to work with him" might even be a but of an understatement... McConnell in the Senate made that clear very early on... and there was never even a start in the House.
:(

The GOP didn't take the House back until 2011. I remember thinking at the time that some things could get done, but then really poor leadership from the Dems in the house borked the whole thing up and went from a 257-178 majority to a 193-242 minority.

I think they took having both houses and the White House as a bigger mandate than they actually had and didn't work across the aisle as well as they should've which ended up biting them in the donkey in the mid-term elections.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:34 pm 
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My mistake, (and wikipedia)... it was in 2011 that the Republicans wrestled control of the House from the Dems.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:46 pm 
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Donald getting endorsement from... Vladimir. ;)

"He is a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented,"

http://news.sky.com/story/1607792/putin ... lented-man

The question that CNN panel of experts and Wolf could go debating, "Is that good or is that bad?".


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:37 pm 
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I saw that earlier on a different website, Prema... I just kind of shook my head and wondered what game Putin is up to. Probably anything to screw with US politics & government, though the idea of Putin and trump working together is a bit mind-boggling.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:33 pm 
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Blake wrote:
I saw that earlier on a different website, Prema... I just kind of shook my head and wondered what game Putin is up to. Probably anything to screw with US politics & government, though the idea of Putin and trump working together is a bit mind-boggling.


Well, apparently Jeb Bush was on the money when he said that Trump was a "chaos candidate". Putin would have the best time of his life seeing the US political scene falling into a chaos, and the egomaniac Trump screwing up left and right, and alienating the entire world.

Oh what I would laugh to see Trump coming out now and start pounding over his chest that "Vladimir, he is a good man by the way, he thinks that I am the best man to make America great again, so America should vote for me". As foolish as he is, he even might do so, lol.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:14 pm 
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You probably won't have to wait long for the trump assessment of his own greatness according to Putin.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:25 am 
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RaggedMan wrote:
Blake wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:

I should add, though, that there was a window in which Obama really could've done more. In his first two years in office, the Democrats had control of Congress. Obama perhaps overestimated the Republicans willingness to work with him, and IMO did not take full advantage of the majority his party had, which is why a number of the bills that were passed at the time we're "watered down" due to giving up too much to appease Republicans. The Democrats had no bite and no bark even though they were top dog, something the Republicans exploited in the campaigns prior to the elections that saw Democrats lose the majority in Congress in 2010.


Yes... and no... Snake

While I agree that for a time he did have a Democratic majority in the Senate, but by the time Obama took office, I believe that the House of Representatives was already controlled by the Republicans, by a fair margin. I agree that Obama did things to appease Republicans initially, but, as I recall it, most Presidents do tend to give a bit to the other side of the aisle in order to try to establish a bi-partisan working relationship. Unfortunately for the US, the Republicans were pretty firmly set in their "no" doctrine... especially with the growing influence of the tea party. "overestimation of the Republicans willingness to work with him" might even be a but of an understatement... McConnell in the Senate made that clear very early on... and there was never even a start in the House.
:(

The GOP didn't take the House back until 2011. I remember thinking at the time that some things could get done, but then really poor leadership from the Dems in the house borked the whole thing up and went from a 257-178 majority to a 193-242 minority.

I think they took having both houses and the White House as a bigger mandate than they actually had and didn't work across the aisle as well as they should've which ended up biting them in the donkey in the mid-term elections.


My mistake. It was indeed 2011.


By the way, just saw the clip of Trump on the CNN show "Morning Joe". He is asked about the comments made by Putin, and of course he liked them, but he even defends Putin when things like the death of journalists and political adversaries are mentioned. Trump's response: "At least he's a leader...". Holy crap. :uhoh:

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Fiki wrote:
What I can't understand is that Trump can say what he has been saying, without the party distancing itself from him, or distancing him from it. If the GOP (I had to look up what that is supposed to mean) allows such people to stand for election under its banner, then perhaps that means as much about the Republican party, as it does about Trump. But possibly also about the United States. And that I find seriously worrying.


The party can not stop anyone from running and the Republicans would love to stop Trump. They know that the extreme wing of the party are the ones who vote in the primaries but the more sensible middle-of-the-road voters will vote in the general election and that Trump will lose in a landslide. As a Democrat supporter, I hope that Trump get the nomination. That would practically guarantee a Democratic victory.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:23 pm 
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bsanderson wrote:
. As a Democrat supporter, I hope that Trump get the nomination. That would practically guarantee a Democratic victory.


:nod: :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:42 am 
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bsanderson wrote:
Fiki wrote:
What I can't understand is that Trump can say what he has been saying, without the party distancing itself from him, or distancing him from it. If the GOP (I had to look up what that is supposed to mean) allows such people to stand for election under its banner, then perhaps that means as much about the Republican party, as it does about Trump. But possibly also about the United States. And that I find seriously worrying.


The party can not stop anyone from running and the Republicans would love to stop Trump. They know that the extreme wing of the party are the ones who vote in the primaries but the more sensible middle-of-the-road voters will vote in the general election and that Trump will lose in a landslide. As a Democrat supporter, I hope that Trump get the nomination. That would practically guarantee a Democratic victory.


Would it not be commendable for the Republican party to take an official stance of a separation from Trump then? Lindsey Graham is urging the Party to do exactly that, to dump him unceremoniously. I do not see how they could win with him all the way anyway, so shake the tree at good time. But they didn't expect that he was to win the preliminaries, so probably taking the line of less resistance.


Last edited by Prema on Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:31 pm 
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The Republicans have a problem with Trump. If they dump him, he runs as an independent and most likely he will take a fair number of votes from the Republican candidate, which they cannot afford. It is not likely that many Dems at all will support Trump either as a Republican or an independent, and I hope, and pray, that the registered independents don't either. Perhaps the Republicans are thinking that if they can put up with him until the primary, when hopefully the vast majority of the Republican base (as opposed to the extremes) will select what they consider to be an "electable" candidate that Trumps supporters will then support the new candidate? To borrow a term, " bit of a sticky wicket" the Republicans have.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:25 pm 
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Blake wrote:
The Republicans have a problem with Trump. If they dump him, he runs as an independent and most likely he will take a fair number of votes from the Republican candidate, which they cannot afford. It is not likely that many Dems at all will support Trump either as a Republican or an independent, and I hope, and pray, that the registered independents don't either. Perhaps the Republicans are thinking that if they can put up with him until the primary, when hopefully the vast majority of the Republican base (as opposed to the extremes) will select what they consider to be an "electable" candidate that Trumps supporters will then support the new candidate? To borrow a term, " bit of a sticky wicket" the Republicans have.

This is exactly it. Right now the "numbers" are based on polls, but who knows what the polls are asking and who are being asked. Once people are actually placing votes rather than answering poll questions we'll have a better idea of how much support Trump truly has.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:46 am 
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I hate saying this but the only Trump supporters I know are Caucasian families with little to no secondary-level education, feed on fear mongering, only experienced international travel to poor Caribbean countries, earn $20,000-$60,000 USD per year in jobs with relatively limited responsibility, and ultimately display a bit (or a lot) of racism due to that limited international knowledge/experience. That is Trump's support demographic from everyone I know and speak to. How many of those exist in the US and vote on top of that I have no idea. I'm hoping less than 10% of the voting population in a worst case scenario.

The worst thing I've been seeing here in the US on social media from personal friends is their sharing of completely inaccurate memes or photos. Like, I am seeing friends not even fact checking photos they are sharing and spreading. Sadly, I have to call them out on this action. I don't care who they support or what their feeling is on something (unless it's built on racism), but if you are going to support or oppose something, at least do it in a proper, factual manner. I've been utterly disgusted with my own friends as of the past year.

As an aside, I am a registered Republican that won't be voting Republican in the upcoming election unless someone proper shows up from the woodwork. The GOP is an utter joke for the past 6 years.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:38 am 
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Honda Quick wrote:
.......if you are going to support or oppose something, at least do it in a proper, factual manner. I've been utterly disgusted with my own friends as of the past year.


Slightly off-topic, but that sadly isn't limited just to Americans. I'm all for freedom of speech, but social media seems to have given an ever-present platform to the worst kind of trolls (I'd like to call my friends/acquaintances a less offensive term, but that's what most have become). Worst thing, the ignoramuses actually believe most of the nonsense they're peddling.

Fact-checking is for wusses, apparently :x


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:19 pm 
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chetan_rao wrote:
Honda Quick wrote:
.......if you are going to support or oppose something, at least do it in a proper, factual manner. I've been utterly disgusted with my own friends as of the past year.


Slightly off-topic, but that sadly isn't limited just to Americans. I'm all for freedom of speech, but social media seems to have given an ever-present platform to the worst kind of trolls (I'd like to call my friends/acquaintances a less offensive term, but that's what most have become). Worst thing, the ignoramuses actually believe most of the nonsense they're peddling.

Fact-checking is for wusses, apparently :x

I don't know how well he is known outside of the US but Stephen Colbert coined the term "Truthiness."

Which means something that sounds like it could be true, and indeed might have some truth to it if you don't look at the full picture.

Then someone makes a meme of it and posts it on Facebook where it spreads like wildfire.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:29 pm 
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So much to vent!

I'm not saying Trump is a new Hitler, but the fear and anger of people out there that Trump is tapping into, and fueling to his benefit......it really is how Hitler came to power. I know that, to a certain degree, all politicians do that to get elected, but not to this extreme. People getting beaten and dragged out of his rallies, the "pledge" salute at his rallies, and he is encouraging it. Even Republicans don't want him to win the Republican nomination, but he will. He is promising to make everything better, even if he won't tell anyone HOW he plans on doing most things. Allies are worried that he will destroy the world economy with his ridiculous economic policies. The media, though, love him, and can't get enough of him. He feeds them, which is why they won't bite him.

On the other side, people I know who did not vote in previous years are determined to vote against Trump if he wins the nomination, which is hopefully true of many people who never vote. In any case, the Republican party is reaping what they sowed. These past several years they have been playing to that radical side, a tactic that came with several warning signs, such as during the 2008 elections when, during a rally, McCain had to defend Obama from a woman who called Obama "an Arab", something she did as a result of the constant reference by Republicans at the time to "Barack Hussein Obama", or when Trump instigated the Birther Movement, forcing the Republican establishment to openly defend Obama. The establishment has lost control of these radicals they've been fueling all these years, and are now desperately trying to stop these radicals and Trump from destroying the party.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
May I just say that as a non American, I don't hold Donald Trump as a typical representation of your countries people.


Looking again at the OP I made some time ago, it's looking worryingly wrong. It would appear that a decent percentage of Americans do think along the same lines as Trump!

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:46 pm 
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Asphalt_World wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
May I just say that as a non American, I don't hold Donald Trump as a typical representation of your countries people.


Looking again at the OP I made some time ago, it's looking worryingly wrong. It would appear that a decent percentage of Americans do think along the same lines as Trump!


To our dismay and shame. :(


But mark my words, there are still enough of us sane people out there that should Trump win the Republican nomination, we will not let him win the election!!!

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:42 pm 
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SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
May I just say that as a non American, I don't hold Donald Trump as a typical representation of your countries people.


Looking again at the OP I made some time ago, it's looking worryingly wrong. It would appear that a decent percentage of Americans do think along the same lines as Trump!


To our dismay and shame. :(


But mark my words, there are still enough of us sane people out there that should Trump win the Republican nomination, we will not let him win the election!!!

A youtuber I watch released a quick video saying that he believes what Blake said earlier in the thread, that Trump is not only dividing the voters q also the republican party itself. He is expecting the party to splinter and the non-Trump republicans to form a new party.

I'm not well acquainted with the US presidential election process, but this mean there is the possibility of a third party candidate entering the election or is the presidency only available to the 2 main parties? As we never hear of any other candidates from other smaller American political parties, I was just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:26 pm 
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I genuinely think we have a serious problem on both sides of the pond. Sociopathic and Narcissistic personality disorders are a very real condition, although maybe not widely recognised in medical terms the same way as other similar conditions are. (Often the behaviours or symptoms of these conditions are a positive advantageous in big business and politics – are even actively sought out).

These conditions should be recognised and treated accordingly and compassionately, but IMO it is very dangerous to allow individuals with these disorders into high office – such as we have!

We really need to wake up to this.


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 Post subject: Re: To all Americans...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:06 pm 
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minchy wrote:
SnakeSVT2003 wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
Asphalt_World wrote:
May I just say that as a non American, I don't hold Donald Trump as a typical representation of your countries people.


Looking again at the OP I made some time ago, it's looking worryingly wrong. It would appear that a decent percentage of Americans do think along the same lines as Trump!


To our dismay and shame. :(


But mark my words, there are still enough of us sane people out there that should Trump win the Republican nomination, we will not let him win the election!!!

A youtuber I watch released a quick video saying that he believes what Blake said earlier in the thread, that Trump is not only dividing the voters q also the republican party itself. He is expecting the party to splinter and the non-Trump republicans to form a new party.

I'm not well acquainted with the US presidential election process, but this mean there is the possibility of a third party candidate entering the election or is the presidency only available to the 2 main parties? As we never hear of any other candidates from other smaller American political parties, I was just curious.

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