Political Parties Have Become More Extreme to Get Votes

Political parties in the U.S. have become increasingly polarized in an attempt to get more votes — not because voters themselves are becoming more extremist.

The research team led by Northwestern University found that extremism is a strategy that has worked over the years even if voters’ views remain in the center. Voters are not looking for a perfect representative but a “satisficing,” meaning “good enough,” candidate.

“Our assumption is not that people aren’t trying to make the perfect choice, but in the presence of uncertainty, misinformation or a lack of information, voters move toward satisficing,” said Northwestern’s Dr. Daniel Abrams, a senior author of the study.

The study is published in SIAM Review.

Abrams is an associate professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. Co-authors include Drs. Adilson Motter, the Morrison Professor of Physics and Astronomy in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts

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America’s got talent, just not political talent | USA

The US presidential elections have the feel of the popular talent competition, America’s Got Talent (AGT).

Like the reality TV show, they are entertaining, emotional and highly competitive, and focus exclusively on the candidates’ talent and character or lack thereof, rather than anything that resembles political substance or agenda.

This is reinforced by the mainstream media’s “horse race journalism”, focusing mainly on the odds, through daily broadcasts of polls throughout.

The elections not only provide cost-free content for corporate media, but the windfall from campaign advertising makes it ever more profitable to treat them like a reality TV drama.

Today, the elections and their coverage are centred almost exclusively on whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden has the character, talent or experience to lead the country in trying times.

Trump insists that it all boils down to leadership, where “talent is more important than experience”.

He reckons, the choice could

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5 questions for Ronald Bailey on how the world is improving over time | American Enterprise Institute

When one looks at the data, it becomes clear that the
world is dramatically improving over the long term. So why are people so
pessimistic about the future? Ronald Bailey recently joined the Political
Economy podcast to explore this question.

Ronald is the science correspondent for Reason magazine and Reason.com. He’s the co-author — along with Marian Tupy — of the upcoming book, “Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.” He’s also the author of the 2015 book, “The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century.”

Below is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation. You can read our full discussion here. You can also subscribe to my podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, or download the podcast on Ricochet.

Pethokoukis: Why aren’t people as optimistic as you? Why
don’t they understand that the world is not terrible and has actually

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Facebook weighs ‘kill switch’ for political ads after U.S. election to curb misinformation, source says

a close up of a computer keyboard: FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration

© Reuters/Dado Ruvic
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration

By Elizabeth Culliford and Neha Malara

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc is considering halting political advertising after U.S. Election Day to curb post-election misinformation, a source who has had discussions with the company said Friday.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for Facebook, said the company has talked with experts about potential election scenarios, including the possibility of U.S. President Donald Trump using the platform to dispute election results.

The New York Times reported https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/21/technology/facebook-trump-election.html on Friday, citing unnamed sources, that Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and some company executives met daily about how to minimize ways the platform could be used to dispute the election and have discussed the option of a political ads “kill switch” after the Nov. 3 election.


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The traditional political convention is dead. Long live the virtual one

The question of how to formally nominate a president and vice president during a pandemic has been answered.

a screen shot of a computer: Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, at right, wave to supporters onscreen along with Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, at left. (Associated Press)

© Provided by The LA Times
Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, at right, wave to supporters onscreen along with Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, at left. (Associated Press)

Throw an unconventional convention, as the Democrats did this week for former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. Invite celebrities to host, then pepper the proceedings with testimonials from real folks, career politicians and NBA stars alike. Soldier through the perils of both live TV and video conferencing, namely pixelated computer camera interviews, ungainly moments of dead air, awkward missed cues and frozen smiles. Never mind that it may look more like a telethon, Zoom meeting or YouTube concert than an election-year function. It’s 2020. The world’s on fire. Do the

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Michelle Obama’s VOTE necklace is the latest jewelry to send a political message

The “VOTE” necklace is just the most recent link in a long chain of politically charged statement jewelry that has helped shape history. Traditionally perceived as being decorative, expensive and feminine — even patriarchal — jewelry may seem like an unlikely canvas for expressing dissent. Yet women have long used their jewelry choices as a form of political messaging.

Jewelry has always been political in the broad sense. Historically, engagement and wedding rings symbolized a man’s ownership of his wife. (It was only in the mid-20th century that “double ring” wedding ceremonies became popular in the United States; male engagement rings have yet to catch on.) Before women could own property or open bank accounts, their jewels functioned as de facto life insurance policies, retirement savings and, sometimes, emergency funds in case of divorce.

And jewelry comes preloaded with symbolism, projecting messages that reflect on the wearer. Gold can be

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How World War II changed Uganda political, social scenes

By Henry Lubega

Last week, Japan marked the 75th anniversary of its surrender in World War II. It was a war whose impact was felt far and wide, including in Uganda.

Then governor Philip Mitchel had told Ugandans at the start of the war not to worry as they were far from the battle area.

“Do not be afraid. There are Italian forces in Abyssinia but it is a very long way from you people of Uganda, and there are large armies to prevent them from coming here. It is possible, but not likely that you may see an Italian aeroplane or two over some part of Uganda; if you do, do not be frightened. Sit quietly in your banana groves or under any trees until it has gone away. It will do you no harm,” he said in his June 11, 1940, statement.

As a British protectorate, Uganda was

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Midlands Voices: Neither political party fully follows Catholic doctrine | Columnists

In such an important election year, arguments will undoubtedly emerge that President Donald Trump is somehow “pro-life” because of his two Supreme Court appointments and various other symbolic and largely rhetorical “pro-life” statements. This would be a terrible mistake to make, and Catholic voters should know the truth. While unborn life is and always will be precious in the eyes of the Catholic church, all life is precious, and so much of that life is under assault because of Donald Trump.

Pope John Paul II reminded us what Vatican II named as intrinsic evils. “Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution and

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The View From Here: COVID can’t kill the political speech

I had been afraid that COVID would kill the political speech, an institution already weakened with some chronic underlying conditions.

For decades now, political ads have become the main messaging vehicle for candidates running for statewide or national office, making fundraising a candidate’s most important job, not the ability to move and inspire a crowd.

And televised debates have supplanted the stump speech as the spectacle that grabs voters’ attention in the final stretch of the campaign when they are making up their minds. But memorized one-minute responses on crowded stages are no substitute for a sustained argument. Candidates get points in a debate for delivering a devastating zinger, but there’s never really enough time to articulate a policy goal – let alone a strategy to achieve it.

Until this year, party conventions were one of the last places where a well-written and well-delivered address really mattered. But I worried

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China’s Communist Party is a threat to the world, says former elite insider

Cai Xia is no stranger to defying expectations. During her years at the Chinese Communist Party’s top training center and think tank, the outspoken professor had surprised many with her liberal ideas and support for democratic reform.

More recently, she caused a stir with a spate of scathing denunciations of China’s ruling elite and the country’s leader Xi Jinping — a rare rebuke from a longtime insider that led to her expulsion from the Party earlier this week.

In an interview with CNN from the United States, where she has lived since last year, Cai went a step further by calling on the US government to double down on its hardline approach towards Beijing. She said she supported the Trump administration’s ban on telecommunications giant Huawei, which Washington claims is a national security risk due to its alleged connection to the Chinese government — an allegation Huawei has repeatedly denied.

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