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The Divided States of America?





coolclay
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19667384 Great article by our overseas brethren. Why do we have to be so spiteful towards one another and continue to think that's it's our way or the highway.

I feel like we all tend to give Congress a lot of crap for not being able to get anything done, but in reality it's just a larger consequence of the rift that is forming across America in general. Very few people in politics seem to be able to form a cohesive argument anymore, its just the same old crap being spat out of different peoples mouths.

What we really need is politicians that are able to work together to make our country what it once was, but you know what the problem is those people won't get elected, because the partisan string pullers only allow those that regurgitate the same old partisan crap into the game. We all saw what happens when someone (Ron Paul) who actually has a head on their shoulders and stands up to the status quo attempts to make a difference, they are bullied by the media, bullied by the string pullers, and essentially kicked out of the game, before it even started.

While I am a diehard conservative, I am glad the video of those spoiled @ss rich brats having dinner with Romney came out. Because it finally brings to light what the Republican and Democratic parties have become.

Anyway that's enough of my rant.
Ankhanu
coolclay wrote:
What we really need is politicians that are able to work together to make our country what it once was, but you know what the problem is those people won't get elected, because the partisan string pullers only allow those that regurgitate the same old partisan crap into the game.

Aye, your nation, now more than ever, perhaps, is in a position where those in power oppose one another on principle, rather than on the merits or flaws of their proposals... there can be NO progress in that sort of environment. Your system (much like mine) needs some serious reform, but, as is the case in most political systems, those who are embedded within it have every reason to ensure that it doesn't change, as they are profiting mightily from its current form. Any change needs a majority agreement, but, the majority would be shooting themselves in the foot to endorse such change.

coolclay wrote:
We all saw what happens when someone (Ron Paul) who actually has a head on their shoulders and stands up to the status quo attempts to make a difference, they are bullied by the media, bullied by the string pullers, and essentially kicked out of the game, before it even started.

Are you sure that's been Ron Paul's problem? Sure it's not his fetishized adherence to a "free market" pipe dream? His free market BS is what would stop me voting for him, if I were in a position to vote... his belief that a free market will fix all the nation's woes tells me a lot about his fitness to govern, and grasp on reality.

coolclay wrote:
While I am a diehard conservative, I am glad the video of those spoiled @ss rich brats having dinner with Romney came out. Because it finally brings to light what the Republican and Democratic parties have become.

Aye, it's a fine demonstration of politics as usual: pander to your voters, screw everyone else... your voters are the ones who will give you money.
handfleisch
Not a bad rant at all, I agree with much of it. But how does the Romney video that came out reflect on the Dems? Romney really spoke his mind, and his contempt for what he perceives as half of society was clear. The Dems are also beholden to money (our whole political system is, even worse since the SCOTUS Citizens United decision), but they are at least somewhat on the side of the middle class.
hw3patch
The people get the leaders they vote for. Unfortunately, too many people don't put a lot of thought into whom they vote for. A lot of people use certain hot button topics (abortion, for example) as a litmus test for their decision. I would be thrilled to see a third-party candidate get 20% or more of the vote in several states, but that won't happen until people start educating themselves and notice the lousiness of the incumbents, and that both parties' incumbents are well below what we can put up with.
ocalhoun
Yep, the two-party scam is the best and most successful swindle I'm aware of ever being pulled off.
Both are beholden to corporate interests, but because each can blame everything on the other party (and claim 'yeah, but the other party is worse'), the voters are kept placated and divided.

...And thanks to how ingrained the two-party system is, both legally and in the nation's consciousness, any third options or reformers can be suppressed.

So, we get to choose between the unabashed corporate shill and the corporate shill who claims he's not one. Isn't being able to choose wonderful?

handfleisch wrote:
The Dems are also beholden to money


I'm so proud of the progress you've made!
*wipes tear from eye*

Quote:

Are you sure that's been Ron Paul's problem? Sure it's not his fetishized adherence to a "free market" pipe dream? His free market BS is what would stop me voting for him, if I were in a position to vote... his belief that a free market will fix all the nation's woes tells me a lot about his fitness to govern, and grasp on reality.

I share your doubts in him on that aspect, but at least he would have been a big step in the right direction.

But no... the real reason he wasn't chosen is simple: lack of funding and media support.
Romney's campaign funding accounts dwarfed Paul's (no doubt because of corporate donations), and the media often blatantly ignored Paul, focusing instead on the other candidates.

I think it's a great example of why a reformer can't get elected. The support of the corporate elite is absolutely essential to gaining office, and no true reformer will be able to get that support.

The only solution is for the vast majority of people to realize what's going on and vote accordingly... but they won't. They're too apathetic and too mired down in R vs D arguments to look at the big picture.

I fear the system will have to fully crash and burn before people wake up enough to be able to change it... and that crashing and burning is going to ruin a lot of lives... not to mention the damage being done in the meantime.
Afaceinthematrix
If you think that Ron Paul has been ignored - just look at Gary Johnson. Johnson is the libertarian nominee for the upcoming election. For a libertarian, his ideals are quite moderate and so I will definitely vote for him. I have also tried spreading the word about him around California a little. Of course, this is irrelevant because a third party candidate has absolutely no chance in this screwed up system. What we really need to do is find a way to catch corruption and severely penalize it. This will never happen because the ones with the power to do that are the ones benefiting from this corruption.

I am definitely NOT a libertarian, but I do like this video:



He doesn't seem to have some of the more extreme views of a libertarian. From what I understand, he also has a successful track record as a governor and seems like an all around decent man that believes in common sense solutions instead of dogmatic party ideals. When people ask me about my party I always say that I am "issue based" because I will not place my decisions on the decisions of a party like many people. I lean libertarian and share some opinions the the GOP and Dems.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
If you think that Ron Paul has been ignored - just look at Gary Johnson. Johnson is the libertarian nominee for the upcoming election.

The fact that you had to explain who he is says it all.

Yeah, they may not give a main-party reformer his due share of attention, but that's nothing compared to the wall of media neglect faced by third-party candidates.

Sometimes I wonder if a major celebrity running as a third party candidate would help fix things. Even if they didn't get elected, the media attention would raise awareness that there are more than two parties out there.
handfleisch
Libertarian, blah. Julie Stein, Green Party Green Party Green Party http://www.gp.org/index.php
Afaceinthematrix
The Green Party tends to fill in a lot of the gaps that I don't like about the Libertarian Party (although not all of them). I have supported their party for quite a long time and have even donated money to their party. Although I am afraid that the GP has even less chance of winning than the LP and so I will probably vote Libertarian. Once we can have our first ever third party candidate in office, I hope that it will open doors to future third party candidates. I don't agree with everything about the GP but, like I said, I am issue based and not party based.
SonLight
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
If you think that Ron Paul has been ignored - just look at Gary Johnson. Johnson is the libertarian nominee for the upcoming election.

The fact that you had to explain who he is says it all.

Yeah, they may not give a main-party reformer his due share of attention, but that's nothing compared to the wall of media neglect faced by third-party candidates.

Sometimes I wonder if a major celebrity running as a third party candidate would help fix things. Even if they didn't get elected, the media attention would raise awareness that there are more than two parties out there.


Ross Perot's candidacy made everyone stop and think a little. He caused several issues to be considered that would otherwise have been ignored. It doesn't seem like he had much of a lasting impact though, nor did he make it any easier for other third-party candidates to be heard.
ocalhoun
SonLight wrote:

Ross Perot's candidacy made everyone stop and think a little. He caused several issues to be considered that would otherwise have been ignored. It doesn't seem like he had much of a lasting impact though, nor did he make it any easier for other third-party candidates to be heard.

By saying that a major celebrity running as a third party candidate might draw attention to it, I'm meaning someone huge... say, like Oprah (for example) announcing she's running for office in 2016.
...Someone who's already so famous that the media can't afford to ignore them.
handfleisch wrote:
Libertarian, blah. Julie Stein, Green Party Green Party Green Party http://www.gp.org/index.php

Heck, I'd be happy to see any third party in a serious running for office, even if I completely disagreed with them!
Anything to wake people up and make them realize there's more to politics than D vs R.
Ankhanu
ocalhoun wrote:
Heck, I'd be happy to see any third party in a serious running for office, even if I completely disagreed with them!
Anything to wake people up and make them realize there's more to politics than D vs R.

Thing is, it's not that simple.

Even if a GOOD, even great third option presents itself, "The People" would not wake up and recognize the validity of having more than two options. They'd continue on, focusing on the same ol two that keep shafting them, maintaining the status quo. It will take a major shift in the people, not in the political options to change things.

Look at Canada; we've had multiple parties for decades, but we've effectively had a two party system until last year, when a third party finally won an official opposition position (2nd largest party in Parliament). Of course, even with that victory, the winner is in a Majority position, in which even if the opposition ALL vote against them, the only way to have something rejected is if members of the majority party side against itself.... so the effectiveness of the new opposition to oppose is minimal for the next 3 years.
deanhills
Sad though as I just can't believe that characters like Obama or Romney and even Paul could be the best that the United States has to offer in leadership capabilities. Guess this is where democracy sucks badly, as those voting don't even qualify to vote from an education point of view, and I don't only mean schooling, but making informed decisions about who to vote for. Voters are easy to sway via the media putting great pressure on candidates to spend multi million dollars on election campaigns.
coolclay
Great discussions guys!
Afaceinthematrix, I definitely agree with you about Gary Johnson. I really hope he gets a fair chance to attend the debates and answer questions. While Paul got to attend the debates he totally got shafted in the amount of speaking time he had vs. everyone else.

I am very curious to hear more about his political stances. Right now he's the best candidate out there in my opinion.

Deanhills, I am afraid you're right, there are probably better qualified individuals out there but the unfortunate thing is that those that are smart enough to make a difference are also smart enough to not even bother. I respect anyone that would even attempt to be president of the US, it's by fair the toughest, most thankless, most difficult job in America. Complete and utter sacrifice of 4 years of your life, and probably the rest of your life.

Ankhanu, while I agree with your statement that even if there was a perfect third candidate they probably wouldn't get elected I must point out what I see as a fault in your last few statements
Quote:
so the effectiveness of the new opposition to oppose is minimal for the next 3 years.
. This may be true but it also hints at the largest problem of why nothing gets done in most governments. People have different opinions that is the fact of life, but I believe a good politician can instead of blatantly opposing the beliefs of others, take the ideas of all sides and mash them together until a solution is had that is agreeable to all. It's just like a marriage or any other relationship where we sacrifice, or at least make accommodations so that everyone's opinions are heard. The days of blatant disrespect, and opposition must end.

Then and only then can progress be made towards a better country.

Oh and Handfleisch, please feel free to explain yourself or are you just trying to be disrespectful and partisan as usual?
handfleisch
coolclay wrote:

Oh and Handfleisch, please feel free to explain yourself or are you just trying to be disrespectful and partisan as usual?
What??? How do you get disrespectful and partisan out of this:

Quote:
Not a bad rant at all, I agree with much of it. But how does the Romney video that came out reflect on the Dems? Romney really spoke his mind, and his contempt for what he perceives as half of society was clear. The Dems are also beholden to money (our whole political system is, even worse since the SCOTUS Citizens United decision), but they are at least somewhat on the side of the middle class.
jmraker
ocalhoun wrote:
SonLight wrote:

Ross Perot's candidacy made everyone stop and think a little. He caused several issues to be considered that would otherwise have been ignored. It doesn't seem like he had much of a lasting impact though, nor did he make it any easier for other third-party candidates to be heard.

By saying that a major celebrity running as a third party candidate might draw attention to it, I'm meaning someone huge... say, like Oprah (for example) announcing she's running for office in 2016.
.


Roseanne Barr is running for president for the California-based Peace and Freedom Party.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseanne_Barr
http://roseanneforpresident2012.org/
https://www.facebook.com/RoseanneForPresident

She's famous, but not Oprah Famous, or as beloved it seems.
coolclay
Sorry Handfleisch I didn't mean that post. I was referring to
Quote:
Libertarian, blah. Julie Stein, Green Party Green Party Green Party


That gibberish.

And to explain my comment, I misspoke. I didn't mean that the Romney video describes anything about the Dems. What I meant was that it's already well known that the majority of the string pulling dems are rich white guys, and now thanks to Romney it is clear that both parties for all intensive purposes are one and the same. All you have to do is follow the money!

Also I am unsure of how the SCOTUS Citizens United decision made things worse? Didn't it support the freedom of speech? I mean as long as what is being stated is the truth and not libel (which in that case defamation laws would apply). On a side note I highly doubt the efficacy of TV ads altogether, but maybe that's just because I don't own a TV, and in the rare occasion that I do watch I usually mute the ads anyway (I can't be the only one).
Afaceinthematrix
coolclay wrote:
On a side note I highly doubt the efficacy of TV ads altogether, but maybe that's just because I don't own a TV, and in the rare occasion that I do watch I usually mute the ads anyway (I can't be the only one).


Sure... You're not the only one who mutes the ads. However, you definitely aren't anything near a majority. A huge percentage of people get all of their political positions off of the television and radio advertisements running right before an election. It usually comes down to mudslinging and tactics little better than "Yo mama" jokes but that's what politics is like in our country...
bluepig83
I agree with the sentiment that Congress is a reflection of where America is. Every time I read the comments section for a news article relating to politics, I get disgusted with the blind partisanship from both sides, which often accompanies harsh rhetoric on issues often not even remotely related to the article. It's like people no longer know how to have discussions with substantive content and know only how to shout over each other in an effort to drown out the other side's voices.

But yes, the gridlock in Congress in itself also makes me mad. The toxicity toward the opposing side spawns an atmosphere that makes it difficult to get anything done. Bipartisan solutions are difficult if the other side is sticking their fingers in their ears and going NANANANANA, which eventually causes people to think that the only way to get anything done is to tailor legislation to satisfy your base and then cram it down the other side's throat which in turn angers them further and leads to a vicious cycle of non-cooperation.

I'm sure there are intelligent and reasonable senators and representatives on both sides of the aisle; these ones really need to step up in spite of the partisan culture and work together for the benefit of the American people as one nation. But most politicians are probably worried about job security, since the masses are so easily influenced by the voice that's shouting the loudest without actually understanding the facts and the complexities of legislation, and politicians probably figure that they could do more to affect change in the office than outside of it. But so far, it doesn't seem much is being done in this gridlocked Congress.
darthrevan
I personally believe in Ron Paul's beliefs. For one, I have believed we should mind our own business instead of creating more enemies out of other countries. Our constitution gave us freedom, but now as times go on, we are bound by more laws(laws=restrictions/less-freedom), then what we should be. Congress works by creating more laws to tighten our leash.

Of course I am going to have people that disagree with me, but oh well. We also help out other countries when we can't even help our own country and people. This country is going down hill because of the current politics in office. Maybe a clean slate would help. I also believe in people that are on gov't programs should have to get drug tests. If a person can afford drugs, they can afford their own food and such.
handfleisch
coolclay wrote:
Sorry Handfleisch I didn't mean that post. I was referring to
Quote:
Libertarian, blah. Julie Stein, Green Party Green Party Green Party


That gibberish.

And to explain my comment, I misspoke. I didn't mean that the Romney video describes anything about the Dems. What I meant was that it's already well known that the majority of the string pulling dems are rich white guys, and now thanks to Romney it is clear that both parties for all intensive purposes are one and the same. All you have to do is follow the money!

Also I am unsure of how the SCOTUS Citizens United decision made things worse? Didn't it support the freedom of speech? I mean as long as what is being stated is the truth and not libel (which in that case defamation laws would apply). On a side note I highly doubt the efficacy of TV ads altogether, but maybe that's just because I don't own a TV, and in the rare occasion that I do watch I usually mute the ads anyway (I can't be the only one).


Maybe the brevity appeared to be inscrutable to you and hence "gibberish". The simple point is that the Green Party should be discussed at least as much as the Libertarian-- people on the internet act like it is the only possible third party. (I once heard a former libertarian say he used to be passionate about libertarianism, but then he grew up.)

About Citizen United, it opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate and union money going to political candidates under the guise of free speech. It's easily one of the worst SCOTUS decisions since Dred Scott. You bring up an interesting side point, however-- what if the effect of TV ads is vastly overrated?
Afaceinthematrix
The Green Party should be discussed as well. I have voted for Green Party members in the past and even financially supported their party. I don't show alliance to their party - but I also don't show alliance to the libertarians. I disagree with libertarians on many counts but I also agree with them on many counts. I support an occasional Republican decision and perhaps a few more Democrat decisions. Overall, I don't align myself with any party. I prefer to say that I am "issue-oriented" instead of a member of a certain party. I look at each issue and decide for myself instead of letting a party decide for me.
busman
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The Green Party should be discussed as well. I have voted for Green Party members in the past and even financially supported their party. I don't show alliance to their party - but I also don't show alliance to the libertarians. I disagree with libertarians on many counts but I also agree with them on many counts. I support an occasional Republican decision and perhaps a few more Democrat decisions. Overall, I don't align myself with any party. I prefer to say that I am "issue-oriented" instead of a member of a certain party. I look at each issue and decide for myself instead of letting a party decide for me.


Damn good quote sir. People in these countries (Canada, US, Britain etc.) generally believe they are "issue oreinted" but they really only focus on maybe 2 to 3 main issues while saying "eh screw it" on the rest. For real though, how many people have you known that have simply not voted or have voted for someone simply on the abortion issue etc?
ocalhoun
coolclay wrote:

Also I am unsure of how the SCOTUS Citizens United decision made things worse? Didn't it support the freedom of speech?

Yes... it supported 'freedom of speech' ... by ruling that bribery* is protected as a form of free speech.

I also take issue with how it grants rights to corporations. So corporations get all the rights of humans, but they don't get the accompanying responsibilities? Corporate personhood is another thing I strongly oppose... unless they want to go full-bore with it to the point of being able to imprison a corporation that breaks the law, et cetera.

*AKA 'campaign donations'
johans
only politicians benefits from it.
coolclay
Then I apologize once again Handfliesch. I guess I am not familiar enough with the case then, but thanks for educating me.

Bluepig, you hit the nail on the head! There are still good people in politics but unfortunately those with the loudest voices drown out the rest!

Just read a decent analysis of what may take place in regards to the Budget Control act. I apologize for the source but it's still a decent analysis http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-fineman/armageddon-in-congress-_b_1924619.html Let's hope the deal makers prevail!
darthrevan
With this administration, i doubt they will pass a budget, since that would mean less they could spend
handfleisch
coolclay wrote:
Then I apologize once again Handfliesch. I guess I am not familiar enough with the case then, but thanks for educating me.

Bluepig, you hit the nail on the head! There are still good people in politics but unfortunately those with the loudest voices drown out the rest!

Just read a decent analysis of what may take place in regards to the Budget Control act. I apologize for the source but it's still a decent analysis http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-fineman/armageddon-in-congress-_b_1924619.html Let's hope the deal makers prevail!

Hey thanks for the civility.

Again we could still explore that point you made about TV ads. Maybe the Citizens United decision and the SuperPACs won't be as awful as predicted. Don't most of us ignore/fast forward through TV ads? This is our first Citizens United presidential election. So far, it's not stopping Obama from leading in all the polls at this point. And yet I can see that undecided voters might be swayed by TV ads.

But still, the SCOTUS decision was a very bad one, and our system seems unable to do anything against the big money juggernaut.

At the same time, I think voter suppression by the GOP might be a bigger factor in this election. Obama is ahead in the polls, but the GOP is trying to shave off percentage points by interfering with Democratic voters. I think that deserves a thread of its own.
coolclay
Quote:
So far, it's not stopping Obama from leading in all the polls at this point.
Why would it only apply to Romney. I am pretty sure there is enough big money (and SuperPACs) on each side to balance each other out at the very least. I don't have a TV so I can't say this with any certainty, but usually the really intense nasty TV ads don't start until at least a little closer to the election.
handfleisch
coolclay wrote:
Quote:
So far, it's not stopping Obama from leading in all the polls at this point.
Why would it only apply to Romney. I am pretty sure there is enough big money (and SuperPACs) on each side to balance each other out at the very least.
Well the big money from the mega-rich and the giant corporations, the ones who gain millions/billions from changes (or lack thereof) in the tax laws, has been going more to Romney and Romney SuperPACs. There is a Sheldon Adelson character who has pledged to give up to $100 million just on his own to get a Republican in the White House.

However, since the "47%" debacle and Romney trailing in the polls, there is some indication that the big money tap has started to turn off. Links below
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/05/21/count-em-30-billionaires-now-backing-romneys-super-pac/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/super-pac-contributions_n_1822290.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/mitt-romney-donors_n_1930269.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/magazine/can-the-democrats-catch-up-in-the-super-pac-game.html?pagewanted=all
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/news/economy/1206/gallery.super-pac-donors-politics/index.html
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