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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Dec 20, 2023 09:45 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included a court ruling kicking Donald Trump off the ballot in Colorado, men who do nothing, "lived experiences", and a son who is frequently late or absent from school.

The most active thread yesterday was titled, "Colorado case. To keep Trump off ballot" and posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. This thread was started at the beginning of last month when a judge in Colorado allowed an effort to keep former President Donald Trump off the presidential ballot to proceed. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution bars any individual who has previously taken an oath of office and then engaged in insurrection or rebellion or "given aid or comfort" to those who did from holding office. The original poster asked whether this is a state or federal issue and to where Trump could appeal. This thread languished until a couple of weeks later when the same judge ruled that Trump could remain on the ballot because, she claimed, the Section 3 did not apply to the office of President. This thread was the most active yesterday because that decision was reversed on appeal by the Colorado Supreme Court. That court ruled that Section 3 disqualifies Trump from holding office and, therefore, it would be a "wrongful act" to include him as a candiate for the presidential primary election. There are a number of issues involved in this decision, all of which are disputed in the thread. At the highest level is the question of whether January 6 was an insurrection. Republicans have described that day as involving little more than "tourists"", an inside job provoked by the "deep state" or ANTIFA, or a simple act of protest protected by the 1st Amendment. Nevertheless, courts have ruled countless times against those involved and several participants in the January 6 events have been convicted of sedition. The next question is about Trump's culpability for the events. While Trump is currently on trial due to his involvement, he is yet to be convicted. However, Courts have ruled in other cases that Trump was responsible. Next is whether the 14th Amendment is relevant to primary elections. A court in Minnesota that considered a similar case ruled that political parties have the final say in who appears on primary ballots and, therefore, allowed Trump to remain as a candidate. Most assuredly the Colorado decision will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Colorado court withheld its decision from going into effect until January 4th to allow for an appeal and it would likely be stayed during such an appeal. As a result, Trump will likely stay on the primary ballot regardless of this decision. Those posting in this thread are generally pessimistic that the US Supreme Court, dominated by conservatives and including three Trump nominees, will rule against Trump in any event.

The next most active thread was the Gaza war thread that I've already discussed. After that was a thread posted in the "Off-Topic" forum titled, "‘They are men, they do nothing’". The original poster linked to an article in "The Guardian" describing the daily lives of six women from various countries around the world. The article demonstrates that "[f]rom Bogotá to Dhaka, women are likely to shoulder the bulk of chores and childcare" and the failure of men to participate equally in homelife is lamented. The original poster says that she is posting about articles such as this in an effort to "urge my sisters to look at their own lives and consider demanding change." She further argues that "[u]ntil life in the home is egalitarian, it never will be outside the home." While DCUM is dominated by women, particularly liberal women, the reaction to the original poster is not what you would expect based on those demographics. Rather, the original poster is met with some hostility. One poster argues that she doesn't need a copy of herself and, therefore, doesn't want her husband to "act like a woman". Some posters argue that the original poster should be demanding that men change rather than women, though that is clearly the original poster's intention. A poster who is likely male listed a number of activities that he seems to believe are only done by men and suggested that women should shut up until they can do those. A number of posters responded to say that they could and have done most of the things he listed and questioned how many of them he could actually do. Several posters said that their husbands already participate equally in their homelife so they have no need to change anything. But, others agreed with the original poster that women have an unfair burden and that men generally — and in many cases specifically for these posters' spouses — don't do their fair share. There are chauvinistic male posters who strongly defend traditional divisions of labor. More surprising was that a number of female posters displayed similar attitudes. This was true despite the overwhelming evidence that women already perform much of what is considered "men's work". Later the discussion turned to who is more likely to start wars with a poster arguing that a woman has never started a war. Posters then provided examples such as Margaret Thatcher who led the United Kingdom during the Falkland Islands war, though it could be argued that war was started by Argentina rather than Thatcher.

The next most active thread yesterday was titled, "What are ‘Lived Experiences’ vs ‘Exeriences’ [sic]" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that some schools are asking students to write about their "lived experiences in their admissions essays and asks what is the difference between "lived experiences" and simple "experiences". Multiple posters explain that an "experience" is something that was done once or for a short period of time. A "lived experience" refers to how a person experiences life on a day to day basis over time. So, attending a sporting event, for instance, is an "experience"". Encountering life-long challenges as a result of a personal characteristic is a "lived experience". But most of those responding were not interested in definitions or meanings. Rather, they preferred to address the fact that essays on such topics are being required in the first place. These posters tended to see the essays in the context of the US Supreme Court decision prohibiting race from being used as a factor in college admissions. That ruling also stated that "nothing prohibits universities from considering an applicant's discussion of how race affected the applicant's life." Therefore, these essays are either considered to be an end run around the affirmative action ruling or an effort to comply with the ruling depending on a poster's point of view. Many of those responding have a very cynical view of these essays with some appearing frustrated that they don't have sufficient challenges about which to write. Or, more commonly, believe that they do have challenges but of the type that likely won't be appreciated by admissions committees. This thread takes a familiar path similar to that of many college admissions-related threads. Many posters are convinced that the admissions process is biased and, more specifically, is particularly biased against them or their children. Therefore, these essays are seen as just one more measure designed to treat them unfairly. As such, they either feel justified in embellishing their experiences for the purpose of such essays or believe that others are doing so. The general view appears to be that "lived experience" essays are more likely to reflect either creative writing ability — if not outright fiction — than actual lived experience.

The final thread at which I'll look today was posted in the "Tweens and Teens" forum. Titled, "So mad at my teen", the original poster is a father who is extremely frustrated with his son who has racked up "30 unexcused tardies and 5 unexcused absences" at school. The original poster is most exasperated by his son's lack of urgency. Even when running late, his son is in no hurry to try to be on time. After a recent incident in which his son left the house late to go to school, the original poster saw that his son had spent over an hour and a half watching TikTok and Youtube that morning. The original poster plans to increase the restrictions on the boy's phone and, in this post, is venting about his frustration. My first reaction is to say, I've been there, I feel your pain, and I am very glad to be past that point in my life. Those responding are divided between those who believe the original poster needs to take a more hands-on approach and basically micromanage his son in the mornings to ensure that he gets to school on time. Others believe the boy — who is a junior in high school — is old enough to take responsibility himself. Many of these posters argue that consequences for being late or absent should be increased so that the child might begin to feel more urgency in order to avoid punishment. Many posters are experiencing or have experienced similar behavior from their children. A common tactic they have employed is to prohibit phone usage in the morning and confiscate phones entirely in response to tardiness or absence. What I thought from reading the original post was that the father is on the right track in trying to make his son responsible for getting to school on time, but that he had errored in not enforcing predictable and sufficient consequences. His son has no reason to feel urgency because nothing is apparently happening as a result of being late. Other posters had the same feeling which they explained to the original poster. To his credit, he acknowledged this advice and suggested that he would follow some of the suggestions that were posted. One message that he seemed to accept is that the phone is a privilege to be earned, not a right. His son could earn the privilege of using his phone by being on time. Still, the original poster faced considerable criticism from the helicopter parenting crowd that believe he should be waking up the boy, feeding him breakfast, and driving him to school in order to ensure that he is on time. He strongly resists this line of thinking which he believes will not encourage his son to gain a sense of responsibility. The father says in a follow-up post that, "[t]here aren't always right or wrong decisions in parenting. Sometimes you have to make the decisions that align with your values and your kid and hope for the best." There have probably been no truer words posted on DCUM.

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