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Politics Permanently Broken?

   
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On one hand it's a semi-socialist that thinks people are too dumb to decide whats best for themselves. And on the other it's racist-theocratic loonies that think either God or money should run the country. Both of which are bad idea's and I think pretty much everyone agrees with that.
the Republicans have a pretty clear record of supporting the idea that God (biblical law)or Money (the market) should rule the country, but I think you would have a hard time documenting any case of Democrats saying that people are too dumb to decide what is best for themselves. Also I was saying that Democrats are not as bad as the Republicans. In fact 'the Democrats are just as bad' has become the oft repeated lie, assumed to be true without evidence because it is said so often.

which is where teh cycle breaks- if one side is clearly out of touch more than the other, instead of assuming teh problem is unsolvable, and people vote for the least delusional party, then when the weaker one falls new parties will rise and compete with each other to take their place.

in fact the best strategy long term to eliminate the Democratic party is to vote for it- once the Republican party is eliminated and a new party rises historic precedent suggests that the Democratic party will fall as well, especially if it has become overly entrenched in just fighting the Republicans.

In terms of the current Republican lineup the thing that would be interesting if Santorum won is whether Ron Paul would pledge his delegates or not... As I see it right now the most interesting outcome is if Gingritch pledges his delegates to Santorum out of spite towards Romney, leaving Ron Paul with the deciding delegates...

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Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
the Republicans have a pretty clear record of supporting the idea that God (biblical law)or Money (the market) should rule the country, but I think you would have a hard time documenting any case of Democrats saying that people are too dumb to decide what is best for themselves. Also I was saying that Democrats are not as bad as the Republicans. In fact 'the Democrats are just as bad' has become the oft repeated lie, assumed to be true without evidence because it is said so often.
I didn't make this thread to start a democrat or republican debate but I think you're illustrating my point clearly here. 'My side isn't as bad.' Really? The democrats are just as corrupt and out of touch as the republicans. They use the same tactics they just operate on a different platform, but instead of calling them out people say 'no, my guys are okay'.

They're not. The democrats didn't compromise or work with anyone in passing healthcare or many of the other bills that have made it through congress in the democratically controlled congress anymore than the republicans did when they had control. There was massive opposition to the healthcare mandate both by individuals and other politicians. But that wasn't addressed it was simply 'we know this is best for the american people (even if large chunks of said american people have said this is exactly not what they want)'. I think that's the definition of saying 'people are too dumb to think for themselves' without just coming right out with it.

And if Obama wins the election and democrats maintain a majority it'll continue the same way. If its a republican sweep and the reverse takes place? We'll be back to Bush, 'patriot acts' and other things that are rammed through congress against the protests of the other side.

There is no 'let's work together to find something that makes everyone satisfied' anymore. It's all 'whatever WE think is best, and screw the other guys'. While they play to their power bases and make themselves look good to those extremes, because they know those extremes will go out and vote.

The question is, is there anything we can do about it?

Yeah. Split the middle of the Dems and the Repubs into a third centrist party. As it is, your system is designed to give more or less absolute control to the party that gets 51% of the vote. And as long as it stays a two party system, you're going to see more or less the same thing.

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Originally Posted by Madadh View Post
The question is, is there anything we can do about it?
I don't know how much has actually changed compared to our perception of it. Commonly attributed to Bismark (though not apparently) is Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. and in a 24/7 news coverage TV world with multiple stations trying a partisan angle to set their niche we see more of how they're made than ever before.

Although the process is dreadful to watch is it actually worse than in years gone by? Or just more transparent? Politicians might play the game and never switch it off on TV on a near daily basis but it it worse than backroom trading going on at Tammany Hall in Chicago? I'd rather have a corrupt politician I can see than one operating in the shadows. And I don't think there has ever been a time period where politicians weren't, as a whole, a bunch of dirtbags.

It seems to me that politics in the USA is starting to focus on religion as much as economics or international diplomacy, and that scares the crap out of me. I don't even care which party anyone belongs to anymore; I will vote for the person who advertises their religiosity the least. Right now, that's the Democrats. It may change later, and I won't feel any qualms about voting for the least religious Republican (whenever one appears).

If I even have a political directive anymore, it's 'keep proselytism out of my government'.

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Originally Posted by Vox Clamantis View Post
It seems to me that politics in the USA is starting to focus on religion as much as economics or international diplomacy,
It's not really.

I found the quote with a bit of context earlier and Santorum wasn't advocating Theocracy at all. Even in the slightest. The quote was quite out of context. He was talking about how in a theocracy that the religious law is the civil law but in ours the civil law has to get along with religious laws. As in exist side by side not as in agree with each other. But out of context quotes like that are what you get when a guy spends two years giving speeches and they start to clip out the most offensive sentence out of an enormous body of work.

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Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
Yeah. Split the middle of the Dems and the Repubs into a third centrist party. As it is, your system is designed to give more or less absolute control to the party that gets 51% of the vote. And as long as it stays a two party system, you're going to see more or less the same thing.
If only. The American Congress was designed for stalling. With increasing lobbyist influence (Companies seem to be spending more on lobbyists than taxes over in North America) added to the polarization of the parties, if you don't have a supermajorty, you're not going to get anywhere. (And that's provided lobbyists aren't gonna screw up whatever legislation you got cooking by throwing money at the problem until it goes away)

Can we fix it? Sure. Is anyone motivated enough to try? Doesn't seem that way to me.

We need a return to the roots of the country, specifically the Constitution. The USA was founded as a Constitutional Republic, not the '
read: Corporate-backed Popularity Contest
Democracy' it has turned in to. The best solution would be for everyone to work on a local level to elect representatives that actually represent their interests, and not tow some party line. Step one is for everyone to take a hard look at themselves and decide what's really important to them. Step two, is to take a hard look at your Senator and Representative and decide if someone else would represent your interests better. Step three is to vote for the person who best represents you, and run yourself if there is no one else. Step four is to stay in contact with whomever is elected, and hold them accountable for the way their decisions affect you. Step five, is to transition back to the Electoral College picking the PotUS, and not this silly
read: Popularity Contest
popular vote. Why do I put that last? Because if everyone follows steps 1-4, step 5 will give you the best chance of getting a President that really represents you.

Then we can work on reining in the FedGov and putting the power back into the hands of the States and the People, where it belongs.

actually if you take away the cameras there is a greater chance for compromise where they dont have to worry about losing votes for being reasonable.

i would also hasten to point out that i find it signifigant that people always find it necessary to say "democrats are just as bad" instead of "republicans are just as bad" which suggests to me that on some level republicans are the gold standard of rotten politics in america. given the choice between bad and 'may be just as bad' I would tend to select teh second. And like I said before, if Democrats are really that bad then once the Republican party falls they won't stand a chance as the new parties rise. "vote for us so the other guy doesn't get in" only works when the other guy is still running...

The use of religion right now, in the R primary especially, has more to do with distracting people from the economy and associated issues than actually giving a crap about religion. The relentlessly strict-Catholic-ward shifting of policy declarations is a key clue. Rs don't want to talk about the economy, because they know they will eventually be taken to task for the fact that this crash was at least 30 years in the making, and it's not Obama's fault that it happened. He can be 'blamed' for the Affordable Health Car Act, but that's not as unpopular as media would have you believe, especially not with people who actually understand what it is and isn't.

Also, the Rs have been pretty candid* about their goal at the moment being obstructing Obama with the presumed intent of winning the White House this year (That's just one example. I know I read several Rs saying they intend to 'obstruct Obama' as often as possible and no matter what, but my Google-fu fails). In order to do that, they have to present issues that get people riled up and not talking about the serious problems that they don't want to deal with. Why they don't want to deal with them seems to be mostly about avoiding anything good at all happening during Obama's term.

Hey, what makes the conservative fundies go into a froth and ignore everything else? LGBTQ rights, abortion, and now birth control.

Meanwhile, the Ds are squandering a lot of opportunities to capitalize on this because they're incompetent at that sort of thing. At the same time, a lot of progressives are taking these matters into their own hands and getting riled up that the Rs are against these things without Ds leading that charge. See Planned Parenthood raising ~$700k as a direct result of the Komen debacle, see the rallying around the newest Prop 8 decision, see the outcry against anti-gay bullying, see the rallying around PP also about this time last year, and so on.

What this winds up looking like is 'everyone is fighting about religion'. Which we are, but there's more to it than that. I don't honestly believe that any of the R candidates actually want to impose Catholic Law (or whatever you want to call it) on the US, except maybe in some wild totalitarian fantasies. I think they will talk about it, they will continue to try it, but they will not succeed, and they know it. What they will do is galvanize both sides for a sort of war that has nothing to do with the economy: it doesn't involve defending rich people, it sidelines and marginalizes Occupy, and it makes fundamentalist Christians - who can be very effective when organized - loud and mobilized for electioneering.

*About that link - I was referring to the text under the video, which was the best quote source I could find with a headache in the early AM. My computer can't actually play that video for some reason, so I don't know if it's relevant or not.




 

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