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Alex Martin wrote:
Yeah, this bugged me for all of thirty seconds, and then I started playing and realized I will almost never see my face. Even the cutscenes sort of stop after the first few missions.
Yeah, the massive cooperative RPG/shooter hybrid genre really seems to have a ton of potential, and what we're seeing now (in Destiny and The Division) is really only the first generation of that genre. A couple of product iterations and this will be really incredible. Destiny could learn from The Division's tactical emphasis and open world design, and The Division could take a page (or three) out of Destiny's AI, and take cues from how Destiny has grown its end-game.
(And before someone tries to argue that games like Planetside were first, they don't feel similar at all.)
Anyone else picked this up yet? I blew through the beta a couple weeks ago and liked what I'd seen well enough to buy into the full game. I'm loving the cover mechanics, some of the most intuitive I've ever seen. Customization feels good, the missions are reasonably varied so far, and it feels like there's a lot to do. Complaints are that crafting feels a little thin and pointless at low levels, lock picks are infuriatingly rare, and the whole utterly silent protagonist thing leaves the game feeling closer to 25% RPG / 75% action shooter than a 50/50 split.
Bump. Have we learned anything new about this deal?
Not yet. Obsidian is nearing the release of its first Pathfinder licensed product (the mobile app version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game) next month, and just released the second (and likely final) expansion to Pillars of Eternity last week. I would be surprised if they hadn't already been in the early stages of development of a more traditional Pathfinder CRPG, and I expect that they are now transitioning (or have recently transitioned) to full development. My guess? We'll hear a product announcement sometime in the next six months.
Wild predictions are fun!
I'd love to see someone launch a sustainable, respectable dues-based tabletop gaming venue/club.
I'm certain there's a lot of internal interest at Paizo in seeing a CRPG in the traditional vein come out of the Pathfinder license. I think it is no coincidence that the license was negotiated as Obsidian was building out its technology for Pillars of Eternity. I think that Obsidian probably has an internal team working on pre-development of a Pathfinder CRPG, and that team is probably transitioning to something resembling development now that The White March Pt. 2 is complete and pipeline resources are freed up. I think the plan is to leverage as many assets from PoE as is feasible to allow for what I expect will be overlapping development of a Pathfinder CRPG and whatever their next PoE title is. I would be surprised if we didn't hear anything new on that front by the end of 2016.
A lot of guesses in there. It'll be fun to see if I was close, or completely off-base.
I feel pretty strongly that focusing on "doing justice" to the d20 system in a CRPG is both unrealistic as well as the wrong goal altogether.
Do justice to the Pathfinder setting, to the experience of a high fantasy adventure, and to the concept of growing a character. Get those right, and complaints that the rule system isn't faithful enough won't matter.
Mind you, the mechanics need to be good; the game should still be highly usable, satisfying, and challenging. But those mechanics don't need to be chained to a legacy of rules systems developed for tabletop play.
Norman Osborne wrote:
Even if the list of similarities is substantial (and I grant you, it is), that doesn't make it a "rehash". You have to deliberately ignore the rest of the movie to come away with that take.
The movie has parallels with ANH, nothing more. It also has its fair share of perpendiculars.
Epic Meepo wrote:
To be fair, though, you can make money off of your "house" (read: your work), and the "land" in this case is the RPG IP equivalent of Upper East Side Manhattan.
The Star Wars Rule of Things and People Falling Out of Sight states that if something drops into a seemingly bottomless abyss, we will probably see it again unless the entire celestial body explodes soon thereafter.
Luke's lightsaber? Literally fell into a gas giant, but turned up eventually because Bespin never exploded.
Boba Fett? Swallowed by the sarlacc, but Tatooine's fine so he'll probably live through it.
Palpatine? Fell into a shaft that even a padawan could have jedi'd his way out of, if only the Death Star II hadn't blown up a few minutes later.
So unfortunately, it looks like we won't be seeing Han again in the flesh.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Rey's history may have been spoiled in a videogame ** spoiler omitted **
Nah, Angry Joe went back and played with it again; turns out he says "Curses!" after getting hit, which led to a situation where he said, "Face me!" then immediately got hit and said, "Curses!" and people (probably subconsciously looking for confirmation of their Rey-is-Luke's-daugher theory) heard, "Face me, cousin!" instead.
I'm putting the chances of the Luke connection at under 50%.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
I'd love to see a Republican defend this disparity. Will they accuse Politifact of bias? Try to make it seem like Democrats' lies are fewer in number but more egregious in nature? Or do they just accept that lies are more readily accepted in the Republican Party?
In case anyone is wondering what we're talking about, this is the article that breaks down the tendency of Republican candidates to lie, and of Democratic candidates to tell the truth.
I don't mean this as a particular insult in a personal manner, but many people believe that it is exactly that attitude - pick a party, stick with it, and shut up and do the best to support one of those two groups - that is exactly the problem, Scott.
I don't much care what the oh-so-elusive "many people" believe. I care what the people who know what they're talking about believe.
There's no such thing as a belief that isn't ideologically imbalanced, when you break it down to a granular enough level.
Okay, but balance is a scale. There are beliefs that are more consistent with an ideology, and beliefs that are less consistent.
I was giving you far reaching examples of each category.
You didn't give me categories. You gave me a bunch of individual beliefs.
Some things are simply diametrically opposed.
You're either pro death penalty or you're anti.
Well, no. See, that's the very same black-and-white thinking you railed against earlier. There is a spectrum of beliefs, even on the death penalty issue.
You can't be "for it in some instances" because the death penalty is only applied TO some instances.
You can believe that the death penalty is justified in murder cases but not in rape cases, or in cases of anything as egregious as attempted murder, etc. Some non-western countries apply the death penalty very broadly.
It's not as if those proposing its continuance are in favor of graduating it up to the punishment for every crime.
There are some people who feel the death penalty should apply to more crimes than it does currently.
You're either for a graduated tax system, or you're not.
Okay, seriously, the black-and-white thinking isn't doing you any favors, here. You're talking about tax law, for crying out loud. If anything deserves careful, deliberate, nuanced thinking, it's this.
The particular methodology isn't the problem for flat tax enthusiasts, it's that it is not equivalent altogether. The formula isn't the problem, it's the answer to the equation. For those things that supposedly have a centrist answer, such as abortion, it all boils down to a situational yes or no.
Anyway, I was saving time and using examples by simplifying my beliefs.
Which you seem to be arguing for above.
As I said, we are far too complex of a society to simply paint it with a broad brush. I simply did not have the inclination to type out a massive essay about the nitty gritty of my personal beliefs to each and every specific situation, especially when it isn't going to change the mind of anyone I'm speaking to. I simply gave an example of a set of beliefs that are supposedly contradictory when they really don't have anything to do with one another beyond the overtly simplistic ideals of less or more regulation.
Your belief that they don't have anything to do with one another is probably why they appear so inconsistent to the rest of us.
I know I'm not the only person who doesn't fit into the two cookie cutter molds, and not just because MMCJawa pointed out that he also doesn't fit in the mold. The overwhelming majority of everyone I have made acquaintance with cannot identify completely with one party or another.
That doesn't mean they don't follow an internally-consistent ideology. It just isn't a party-aligned ideology. Maybe it's religion-aligned. Maybe it's culturally-aligned. The difference is that I can't think of any ideology that your particular grab bag of beliefs would fit into.
As I said, I am a centrist.
That isn't what a centrist is. A centrist doesn't take far-left and far-right beliefs and squeeze them into a single ideology. In fact, centrism is opposed to exactly that.
I actually prefer not to vote third party when it can be help, but there are instances where I simply refuse to choose between the presented dynamics.
Okay, but why?
Sometimes, I vote for the lesser of two evils, especially when one is disgusting to me, such as in the most recent vote for Florida governor, but even in those cases, whomever I almost always end up voting for tends to lose. Third party is still preferable behavior to skipping voting altogether.
Well, perhaps, but that's not exactly a high bar to meet.
While I don't share probably half of Green Tea Gamers beliefs, the political agenda he espouses isn't some bizarro unique thing. In fact I would say its pretty typical of a good (if minority) section of the populace. Hell, from what I could tell when I lived there, it matches pretty strongly with the average Republican voter in Wyoming and some other parts of the west (Although I think the Tea Party has altered that a bit). Its pretty standard libertarian.
Really? Let's break it down.
thegreenteagamer listed the following beliefs. I'll mark the ones that could be considered classically libertarian in bold.
Less gun control
As you can see, of the positions he highlighted, classically libertarian beliefs are actually in the minority. Of the remaining, a number are flat-out antithetical to libertarian belief (especially opposition to abortion rights, and a minimum livable wage).
In other words, his list of policies is about as libertarian as it is any other political alignment - you might as well have called him "pretty standard progressive" for his beliefs on gay rights, a living wage, and an abolished death penalty.
As far as voting, I hate our two party system and how it forces us into choosing "the lesser of two evils" over and over again.
Hate it all you want, but vote sensibly.
I think its up to the individual voter to decide if he wants vote his conscience and go third party, or weigh political realities and vote Dem or Republican.
I don't have a lot of patience for people who use the, "I voted my conscience!" line as an excuse for avoiding making a hard decision about which choice they actually should make.
Their is nothing wrong with making either choice and we shouldn't lambast people who vote differently.
Except there is something wrong with voting third party - you're actually hurting yourself and those who believe as you do by virtue of the opportunity cost you spend voting third party when you could be voting for a major party.
Well, not taking life on an issue by issue basis seems a lazy way to approach situations.
You can view it as lazy or efficient, but either way, you already do it. You unquestionably make extensive use of cognitive heuristics in decision making, even if you aren't conscious of it.
There is no singular black and white answer to all of the problems of society. It's much more granular than that.
Heuristics don't seek to provide a single answer, or black-and-white answers. They provide shortcuts that allow us to make decisions without thoroughly analyzing those decisions ourselves.
We are far too dynamic of a species to paint entire societies with such a broad brush as either "more regulation or less regulation". That's absolutely ludicrous.
While I agree that "less regulation is better" leads to poor outcomes, it is unquestionably a coherent worldview (not to mention a popular one).
Note that the above heuristic is pretty black-and-white. That isn't true for all heuristics, though.
If an individual is so lazy to actually find articulating their perspectives on an issue by issue basis a chore, then their opinions are likely to be uninformed and ignorant anyway.
I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to be able to articulate their reasons for having a particular position on every issue, on demand. You can't even do that (if you had to, you'd probably end up trying to work through your reasoning on the fly for many, many issues).
But, then I'm also in the opinion that we should revamp the system as an education based weighted oligarchical republic where education is free but non-compulsory and additional votes are granted for the more educated, so yeah, my opinions are, to say the least, a little unique, I know.
For example, every time I see people trying to tell others to get out and vote I look at them like they're crazy. Why would you want someone so ignorant that they choose not to vote at all to water down the strength of your own opinion? (Yeah, I realize the masses are more easily swayed to fall into line and support your ideals, but I mean the general push to get people to vote, rather than the party sponsored movements.)
Generally speaking, it's because they understand the audience they're speaking to, and the way that audience typically votes. If you can be certain that a majority of the audience you are encouraging will vote in the same way you will, you don't "dilute" your vote by encouraging them. You strengthen the likelihood that outcomes you desire will occur.
The Democratic Party, for example, tends to encourage general increases in voter turnout, because they understand that the majority of non-voters would support Democratic candidates if they were required to vote.
By all means, explain to me what gun control has to do with gay equality. I'll wait. While I wait, prepare up how a graduated tax system has anything to do with abortion, privatized education anything to do with the death penalty...an argument could be stretched to lump an independent living wage in with an increased military presence, since both cost a lot of money, but even that is a stretch.
They are related through common ideologies. For example, a less-regulation-is-better worldview informs an anti-gun-control and a pro-marriage-equality stance. A traditional, American religious worldview informs an anti-gun-control and an anti-marriage-equality stance. A progressive worldview informs a pro-gun-control and a pro-marriage equality stance. There isn't, to my knowledge, a coherent worldview that informs a pro-gun-control, anti-marriage-equality stance (maybe a variation of family values?).
The problem you're encountering is that people typically don't decide on where they fall on issues on an issue-by-issue basis. For most people, that's far more time-consuming than they're willing to put up with. Instead, people tend to use political heuristics to help them make decisions. A person's worldview is an example of one of these heuristics. A particular news channel or radio personality might be another, a church might be another, and so on. It's why certain combinations of (to you, seemingly unrelated) issue positions are so popular.
Your combination of views, however, doesn't appear to be informed by any single popular heuristic. In other words, it doesn't seem likely that you have a coherent worldview supporting all of those various positions.
Every member of either party is, for the most part, just the same bundle of beliefs.
That's the point of a party. They literally have declared party platforms that candidates are expected to adhere to, for the most part.
The faces change, but its the same "if you like poor people you need to hate religious people"
Okay, no. No major political group hates religious people for being religious. If you're a religious person and you feel hated, it isn't because you're a religious person.
It's a mistake to attribute every non-voter to distaste for the way our elections are run.
I'm guessing that many people who do vote do it while holding their nose, or just voting against the other guy. There is an enormous potential for something other then a republicrat, but both political parties and the media are fighting it tooth and nail. Shove the donkeys and elephants into the glue vat, turn off the Fox/MSNBC/CNN and vote for someone who actually represents you.
Again, literally counterproductive until and unless the voting system itself is changed.
My bad - I'm referring specifically to American youth. We haven't cracked that nut.
What about those of us who disdain political bundling of our issues as it comes with current party choices?
Do you want an actual answer to this, or are you just moaning about the political reality you live in?
The real answer is that you have to make a hard decision. There is no perfect option for you. Welcome to life. Time to make a sober evaluation of your priorities, and - based on that evaluation - choose and support the major party candidate who best represents your views.
Democracy isn't about getting exactly what you want. Democracy is about compromise.
I'm for less gun control, but want gay equality. I favor a graduated tax system, but am against abortion. I want to have a liveable minimum wage, but I'm in favor of an increased military presence. I think drugs should be legal and the death penalty abolished, but I also think we should privatize education with a voucher system because the public route has been a joke. Every one of those statements has been at odds with itself, party-wise,
A number of these statement are at odds with themselves, period. They reflect a worldview that I've never even heard of before. Why would you expect any party to support these views? Even a third party isn't going to give you that jelly bean assortment of political positions.
even though strictly speaking they're totally unrelated.
They are not totally unrelated.
Yet you tell me where I can find any party that is behind those SUPPOSEDLY opposite statements that has nothing to do with one another.
You can't, and you won't. And no political system changes are going to make that a reality.
Your views are not centrist. They are weirdly polar, similar to the way Paul's platform was weirdly polar.
Libertarianism was getting a real push for a while. If the tea party was more organized it could probably be seen as a real threat to the right wing stability.
If the tea party was more organized, we'd have a Republican in the White House. Not a Libertarian.
But how do you think those two things happen? By people actually "wasting" those votes.
Eventually, yes. But it has to be preceded by an incredible surge of popular support (not *voting* support, but general support) for a third party. We haven't seen that in recent history. The mistake you're making is in assuming that if FPTP were replaced by a more reasonable voting system, people would flock to other parties as their first choice. There is no evidence for that case.
Just remember, most people supporting Trump aren't supporting his views. They are supporting the fact that he is willing to actually express his opinion no matter the political consequences. Even most of his supporters know he his crazy. They just want a politician who behaves like something other than a politician.
That seems unlikely. I think they probably support at least some portion of his views that aren't represented among the other candidates.
The only thing about polls is they mostly interview people with landline phones, which means, let's be honest, old people.
Most polls are published with demographic info, including age bracket membership and crosstabs. If you're concerned about a poll being weighted too old, you can verify that.
Sanders has obtained a heavy following among young disenfranchised milennials
Well, sure, but why should they receive special attention in the polls? There's pretty much no group *less* likely to vote, and a poll doesn't have a lot of value if it fails to measure likely voters.
And before you say those people don't vote - that's what they said before Obama got elected.
Youth voter turnout was slightly up in 2008 from 2004, but it wasn't remarkable - 1992 had higher youth voter turnout figures. No one's really figured out how to get young people to reliably vote.
But there's more than the immediate effect. Third party candidates can, if they make a big enough splash, have a "wave" effect that carries over to the next election. For example, Perot was all about the economy, and he was similar to Bush, who lost to Clinton by arguably enough votes where if Perot didn't enter, Bush probably would have won, or it would have been a lot closer. Next election is suddenly about economic issues. Similarly, in 2000 Nader was about the environment, and it is no coincidence that after Gore lost the environment was a big issue in 2004.
I think you're assigning attributing a false cause to these observations. There's nothing "sudden" about an election being about the economy. Neither was it necessary for the Green party to rack up votes for 2004 to be about the environment. (And, of course, the party that made the environment an issue in 2004 lost anyway, so a whole lot of good the Green surge did.)
Further, even though it's not common, there have been third party mayors, governors, representatives, and even IIRC senators.
And that's fine. If you feel there's a real chance your local candidates will be elected, go ahead and vote for them. But your vote for President should go one of two ways.
Its not as if major parties fading to obscurity as other parties take forefront hasn't happened before, or have you been seeing Whig and Federalist candidates running of late?
For that to happen, a) an existing major party must experience a crisis of support, and b) a third party must experience a simultaneous surge in support. Neither of these has taken place in recent history.
Ceaser Slaad wrote:
The problem from my point of view is that Trump isn't a real "conservative".
I think this bit, right here, is going to give you some trouble. You're trying to unilaterally define what a "real conservative" is, and then lay into Trump for not meeting your personal (and undeniably arbitrary) definition.
There are quite a lot of people, Caesar Slaad, who would tar you as a fake conservative (or, more probably, a fake libertarian) for your opposition to gay marriage, for instance. You can certainly call Trump out for championing stupid policies, but you don't seem to be in any position to determine who is and isn't a "true conservative".
That said, Trump is an absolute disaster for you and for people like you. First, whether you accept it or not, you ought to be supporting the eventual Republican nominee. Despite your protestations to the contrary, your personal politics appear to line up very close to the Republican platform. Your third party so-you-can-sleep-at-night vote isn't going to accomplish anything except handing the offset of your opportunity cost to the Democratic Party (to the tune of one vote in the Democratic nominee's favor). Given that the horse you should be backing is the Republican, anything that lowers the chances of the Republican nominee becoming President is bad for you. Trump stands almost no chance of winning the general election, so Trump becoming the nominee is really bad for you. Worse, if Trump doesn't become the nominee, and (through the benevolent intervention of God himself) decides to run anyway as an independent candidate, the Republican nominee stands no chance at all of winning.
For the Republican Party to have even a long shot at the presidency, a) Donald Trump must lose the primary, b) Donald Trump must choose not to run as an independent, and c) the Republican Party must nominate Rubio. Even then, it will be an uphill climb. If any of these things fail to occur, you are looking at what is almost certainly another 8 years of Democratic presidency.
I'm as staunch a Democrat as they come, so this piece of advice is essentially charity: The best thing you can do for yourself in this election is to register as a Republican and vote for Marco Rubio in your state's primary.
Queen Moragan wrote:
That's not how law works. It is not the case that all actions are presumed illegal and then explicitly made legal. On the contrary, all actions are presumed legal, and then certain actions are explicitly made illegal. So it's problematic to ask someone to prove or explain why something is legal. A much more reasonable way to go about it would be for the person asserting that something is illegal (i.e., you) to cite the relevant law that makes it illegal. You should be able to do that.
Clinton's current measure of "liberalism" is mainly on positions that she's evolved since becoming the 2.0 version of a Presidential candidate. Clinton 1.0 was considerably more right-wing, and she's still very much a hawk when it comes to foreign policy, although at least not nearly as much a cowboy as Bush 2.0.
Clinton's term in the Senate stretches back to 2001. During her eight-year term in the Senate, she ranked in the upper 15th percentile of Senators in terms of liberal political leanings.
So when, exactly, was Clinton 1.0?
She's considered equivalently liberal to Elizabeth Warren. She's considered more liberal than Obama.
Honestly, it's fine if your personal political spectrum is calibrated such that all Democrats appear slightly right-of-center. That isn't unreasonable. What I want to make clear, however, is that calling Clinton more moderate than your average Democrat is simply false. In fact, the opposite is true - she has a record as one of the most liberal Senate Democrats during her time in office. The fact of the matter is that both noteworthy Democrat candidates for President are, by American standards, very liberal.
I understand that sentiment on my more optimistic days, and its good that we're getting into fewer wars these days/ getting into smaller scale wars at least, all democrats seem to be doing is bleeding out on the economy for real people a little slower than the republicans and that needs to end. Hillaries "I told wallstreet to knock it off" isn't going to cut it, especially when democrats are so ridiculously prone to the golden mean fallacy where the dems tell wallstreet to cut it back, wallstreet says, "double down!" and dems compromise to be "Well lets stay the course".
You're getting lost in rhetoric - not a good idea. You should be paying attention to policy and outcomes. The last six years have been a tremendous improvement over the previous eight for progressives, especially relative to what we would have experienced if a Republican had been in office for those past six years.
We need glass steigal back, like, yesterday. We need citizens united ended, we need to end the mitt romney loopholes for raiding pension funds, we need to have an honest talk about the ridiculous jerrymandering going on thats keeping the republicans in charge on a national level and none of that is going to happen if your candidateisn't THAT far away from the republicans. If we need to suffer through a republican presidency until texas goes blue and sanders 2.0 can be elected, so be it.
I am going to beg you: Do not take this standpoint. You might think it's worth it, but it is not. The damage that a single modern Republican President can do, especially over the next eight years, is tremendous and long-lasting - probably to the point of defining much of America's trajectory over the next half century.
Nah. Clinton is far more liberal than you are giving her credit for. OnTheIssues.org rates Clinton as being similarly liberal to Elizabeth Warren, more liberal than Obama, and only slightly more moderate than Sanders. Her Senate record puts her in the upper 15th percentile of most liberal Senators.
I have to say I'm sick to death of this "country has moved to the right" refrain.
First of all, most of the country doesn't participate in the political process AT ALL - if there's been a shift anywhere, it's toward apathy.
No, not really. Voter participation as of the last Presidential election was 55%. The average voter participation across all Presidential elections since 1932 (when turnout figures were first available) is 55.6%. The country has pretty much always been roughly as apathetic as it currently is.
(Your bit about most of the country not participating is demonstrably false, unless you're counting those ineligible to participate. A majority of eligible Americans participate in at least some aspects of the political process.)
But on most of the issues, when broken down, Americans are really more progressive than Congress or the conventional wisdom for sure.
Well, that's not difficult. Our current Congress is quite conservative.
Most people do want the rich to pay more, like specific government programs (even my wife's super-Republican, gays-are-causing-the-apocalypse grandfather is worried about Social Security cuts), most Americans are in favor of common sense gun control laws. There are some ways in which that American mean streak shines through - we're overwhelmingly majority in favor or the death penalty no matter how many innocent people we execute (or how many racial biases are revealed in the system, and sadly, often even moreso afterward), and we'd rather let someone die needlessly without access to healthcare rather than see our own taxes increase by a red cent - but ultimately, by most metrics, we are arching toward a more inclusive, progressive society than we had in the 80's.
That's because progressive ideals tend to advance even in the face of passionate resistance. Our country's policies have, in some places, grown more progressive. The political beliefs of our people, however, have trended more conservative. Mind you, much of this conservative trending isn't the result of any typical American becoming radically conservative. It is more a reflection of how incredibly radicalized the minority of the country that makes up our right wing has become. We have an alarming number of really hardcore Republican voters.
Electing a democrat thats no different than a republican is also a problem.
There are no prominent Democrats running for the office of President who are the functional equivalent of any of the prominent Republicans running for the office of President. So this is a non-issue.
I don't have a lot of patience for the false-equivalency of "Both major parties are the same!" It has no basis in reality.
The cool thing about the primaries is that if everyone who said "I'd vote for Bernie, but he cannot with this so I'm voting for Hillary instead" would take a chance and vote for Bernie, the worst thing we'd have would be...Hillary.
Well, no, arguably the worst thing we'd have would be Sanders. The people who are choosing not to vote for Sanders because of electability concerns are not avoiding him because they're worried he can't win the primary. They're avoiding him because they're worried he can't win the general election. That's a valid concern, and a rational strategic motivator when deciding who to support during the primary. If your primary concern is electing a Democrat (and, I think, given the political alignments most of you hold to, that ought to be your primary concern), then Clinton is the clear safe choice.
This is a good time to be getting into Baldur's Gate. The developers behind the Enhanced Editions of BG1 and BG2 are going to be releasing a new game in the series, set in the time between the two original games, in the same engine, featuring the same characters. If you pick up BG1 now, soon enough you'll be able to play through all three games in the series, back to back.
But, there is a problem with what you say: Some of the very people who founded this nation believed very much that the people should be always threatening the government with violence to safeguard their rights.
They were wrong. As it turns out, threats of violence against the government don't have any meaningful impact on the strength of a democracy at all.
Ejrik the Norseman wrote:
I, for one, actually like the fact that there is a group whose purpose is to ultimately make the government accountable to the People and the Constitution. After all, who REALLY has kept the government in check? The People?
Yes. And, frankly, we, The People, have done a pretty decent job of it. Almost none of our safeguarding of rights was accomplished by threatening our own government with violence, however. It's irresponsible, counterproductive, immature, and, frankly, delusional to believe that is a worthwhile tactic.
The problem these people (Oathkeepers, and other self-styled champions of the Constitution) almost uniformly have is that they imagine themselves as being opposed to the government. That isn't how a democratic government works, nor is it how a democracy is maintained. It is, however, exactly how one might imagine themselves if their primary concern was feeling important.
So while a bunch of arsenal-toting crazies have been pretending at relevance, the rest of us are actually maintaining our democracy.