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Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


Politics Permanently Broken?

   
What I don't understand about the US pre-elections is that republicans don't all vote for the least conservative candidate. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me like a hyper-conservative like Santorum doesn't stand a chance in winning over the moderates and will never become president, while a moderate republican candidate would have a much better chance. If they want a republican president, shouldn't they vote for a moderate candidate? I know this goes against the idea of voting for whoever matches best with your own ideology, but a two party system doesn't support that philosophy anyway.

What bothers me about US-politics is the importance of the personal life of the candidates. Having a perfect family or going to the temple of some god has nothing to do with ones ability to govern, and it is all for show anyway. Elections seem to be mostly about mudslinging. (That's one of the reasons I like Obama: I had the impression he kept his focus on his program rather than slinging mud at contenders). If in Belgium e.g. politician A says something bad about politician B during the elections, B very often gain in popularity, while A looses.

Concerning polarisation: a relatively small and new party managed to gain popularity fast in Belgium, because the other parties are all the same (somewhere to the far left of the American spectrum), and the only alternative apart from them was unelectable (extreme right and extreme racist) or stupid (populist party with incessant internal struggles). So it is a nice example of a "
I'd guess somewhere around the democrats on the political spectrum...?
middle ground" party rising to success between "extremes". I don't think it is possible in a two party system though, but neither democrats or republicans have any incentives to change that system.

Sure they will do something, not the major stuff like passing a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion, but they will probably be supporting a bill allowing catholic hospitals and other affiliated businesses an exemption to having to pay for birth control. not because it is a good idea or can even necessarilly pass constitutional muster but because if they have the votes it is an easy bone to throw those supporters and if it ultimately fails it is one more things they get to add to their list of "things the evil Liberal conspiricy has destroyed"

Introducing Squeak's Law!
"As a World Talk arguments grow longer, the probability of bashing conservative and/or the US republican party increases proportionally"

While I really don't want to get overly involved in rank against conservatism that is going on here, I thought I would chime in with a few comments.

One thing of note. If everyone believes that the politics are so 'broken', why aren't more people libertarian? The best way to not be affected by 'broken politics' is to simply have as little political involvement as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinous View Post
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.
I agree with your premise, but disagree with the concept that Republicans don't want to talk about the economy. That is definitely where the Republicans would want to focus and is definitely the main issue that will decide the next US presidential election.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinous
Hey, what makes the conservative fundies go into a froth and ignore everything else? LGBTQ rights, abortion, and now birth control.
I happen to be a conservative and a fundamentalist. It is obvious that you mis-understand the whole birth control thing.

I am not a catholic and personally have no problem with birth control. I DO have a problem with the government MANDATING that any religious institution would be required to do something that goes against their religious beliefs (and do it for free). The 'compromise' isn't really much of a compromise, as it simply shifts the cost onto the insurance companies -- without taking the onus off of the catholic hospitals to provide something that fundamentally disagrees with the tenets of the institution (who will still be required to provide the birth control for free).

A similar story is HERE , where a preschooler was told she needed to eat a school provided lunch because hers wasn't healthy enough.

Another example of the intrusive, almost Orwellian involvement of government in the choices that individuals make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbender View Post
What I don't understand about the US pre-elections is that republicans don't all vote for the least conservative candidate. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me like a hyper-conservative like Santorum doesn't stand a chance in winning over the moderates and will never become president, while a moderate republican candidate would have a much better chance. If they want a republican president, shouldn't they vote for a moderate candidate? I know this goes against the idea of voting for whoever matches best with your own ideology, but a two party system doesn't support that philosophy anyway.
The 2012 election won't be as much about the Republican candidate as it will be a mandate on Obama's first term in office.

There are many examples of strong left or right leaning individuals have been elected.
After Nixon/Ford - Jimmy Carter was elected (very left wing)
After Carter - Ronald Reagan was elected (very right wing)
After W Bush - Obama was elected (who was ranked as the most liberal senator in 2007)

I would also say that while Santorum is definitely conservative, he is FAR from hyper-conservative by US standards.

I would say it is a matter of perspective. I can understand, from a Libertarian view, how you would object to the government requiring anyone to provide any particular coverage. However from my perspective the issue is that these requirements are the law, and that Church *affiliated* businesses should not recieve special exception, especially when they recieve over 60% of the funding from the Federal government. Now I suspect that a compromise that allows them to not provide contraceptive coverage in exchange for giving up all Federal funding might satisfy both of us, I think if you are going to argue the Libertarian perspective then the issue should be whether *anyone* should have to provide this kind of insurance, not whether Catholic affiliated companies should be required to do so.

And the Catholic institutions are not being required to provide birth control, they are being required to provide insurance which will cover birth controll. I think the basic concept is that a woman who is protestant, athiest, hindu, Wiccan, or whatever should not be required to give up what this bill views as her rights simply because the institution she is working for happens to be Catholic affiliated. Now whether those benefits shoudl be considered rights or not might be a legitimate point of discussion, but that should apply equally to everyone, rather than being given exemptions based upon the *employer's* religious affiliation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
Church *affiliated* businesses should not recieve special exception, especially when they recieve over 60% of the funding from the Federal government.
How are you calculating that number?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
Introducing Squeak's Law!
"As a World Talk arguments grow longer, the probability of bashing conservative and/or the US republican party increases proportionally"

While I really don't want to get overly involved in rank against conservatism that is going on here, I thought I would chime in with a few comments.
Because any discussion that mentions failings of the Republican Party that does not perfectly balance those failings by mentioning at least an equal number of failings of at least equal magnitude by the Democratic Party must necessarily be deemed 'bashing'.
And any discussion of the failings of self-proclaimed representatives of conservatives policy must necessarily be deemed an attack on conservatism itself.

~

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
I happen to be a conservative and a fundamentalist. It is obvious that you mis-understand the whole birth control thing.

I am not a catholic and personally have no problem with birth control. I DO have a problem with the government MANDATING that any religious institution would be required to do something that goes against their religious beliefs (and do it for free). The 'compromise' isn't really much of a compromise, as it simply shifts the cost onto the insurance companies -- without taking the onus off of the catholic hospitals to provide something that fundamentally disagrees with the tenets of the institution (who will still be required to provide the birth control for free).
You're right, Squeak, that was an unfair generalization, and not nearly exact enough. So long as you don't want to shove your religion down my throat, I'm not referring to you. The people who do - who remarkably tend towards conservatism and Republicans for unknown reasons (seriously, I don't understand that, I'm not just being glib) - are the ones I'm talking about, regardless of what label is proper to apply to them.

Anyway, that is not the only issue about birth control right now, and I wasn't specifically pointing to it (and I politely disagree because I think it's about worker's rights). The personhood initiatives percolating across the country are about birth control, the whole notion of it being basic preventative care has been an issue, the Planned Parenthood stuff is about birth control, and all of the R Prez candidates are on the anti-contraception bandwagon right now. This is all about abortion, too, but see the writing on the wall and realize what it's really about: sexual freedom for women.

Which I only just explained because...

My point, distilled down, is really that there is a segment of society that finds sexual freedom for women to be sufficiently scary as to need to scream out against it. By blatantly appealing to this group, attention is shifted away from anything remotely relating to productive governance. In a reaction to that, the groups who find sexual freedom for women to be valuable and worth protecting are screaming back. Thus, it looks like religious fervor and chaos and cats and dogs living together and the destruction of democracy at hand, and the apocalypse is coming.

Which is to say that I think it looks a whole lot worse than it really is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeak View Post
Introducing Squeak's Law!
"As a World Talk arguments grow longer, the probability of bashing conservative and/or the US republican party increases proportionally"
Perhaps it wouldn't happen if conservative think-tanks didn't do things like this.

The link is to an article about the Heartland Institute and some leaked documents that show that the Institute is actively attempting to discourage teachers from teaching science. Such blatant lies, misrepresentations, and all-out attacks on others are what gives the Republican Party (and, by association, conservatives in general, even the good ones) a bad name. Perhaps if the GOP didn't engage in such tactics, it wouldn't be "bashed" as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinous View Post
This is all about abortion, too, but see the writing on the wall and realize what it's really about: sexual freedom for women.
The birth control thing had absolutely nothing to do with sexual freedom for women. It had to do with a religious affiliate being MANDATED to not only supply but pay for birth control.

As far as I understand, there hasn't been any difficulty getting birth control in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkWren View Post
Perhaps it wouldn't happen if conservative think-tanks didn't do things like this.

The link is to an article about the Heartland Institute and some leaked documents that show that the Institute is actively attempting to discourage teachers from teaching science. Such blatant lies, misrepresentations, and all-out attacks on others are what gives the Republican Party (and, by association, conservatives in general, even the good ones) a bad name. Perhaps if the GOP didn't engage in such tactics, it wouldn't be "bashed" as much.
That kind of proves my point. When did The Heartland Institute become a branch of the republican party or a mouthpiece for conservatives? It seems like a lobbyist to me.

Quote:
The birth control thing had absolutely nothing to do with sexual freedom for women
unless men are getting pregnant it does. it may not be what you see as the predominant issue, but it at least has something to do with it.





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