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The General American Politics Thread

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I beg to differ, although this may be coming from a European perspective. Certainly in Europe anyway (and I'm sure this isn't just exclusive to here) there seems to be an increase in extreme right wing support, perhaps as a result on the continuing economic downturn. I also think that there still a very significant amount of people harboring the above views, the only difference is that there not saying it vocally/and or attracting media attention. And I'd arguably say that's worse. Better the devil you know right?

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It works both ways, they knew Bin Laden was there.dry.png

They knew Bin Laden was there, but that doesn't mean that they could have done anything against him. Pakistan's government isn't the most stable, and part of the reason it isn't is because of its relationship with the U.S. Doing things that actively hurt the interests of what essentially amounts to a very large (and very dangerous/violent) special interests group, which directly helping catch Bin Laden would have done, very easily could have been something that led to the government being toppled.

That is why the U.S. went in and did it themselves and are content with having Pakistan looking embarrassed on the world stage rather than actively doing anything to punish them for "hiding" him or forcing them to help the U.S. get him in the first place.

Edited by Tornado

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They knew Bin Laden was there, but that doesn't mean that they could have done anything against him. Pakistan's government isn't the most stable, and part of the reason it isn't is because of its relationship with the U.S. Doing things that actively hurt the interests of what essentially amounts to a very large (and very dangerous/violent) special interests group, which directly helping catch Bin Laden would have done, very easily could have been something that led to the government being toppled.

That is why the U.S. went in and did it themselves and are content with having Pakistan looking embarrassed on the world stage rather than actively doing anything to punish them for "hiding" him or forcing them to help the U.S. get him in the first place.

I Never said they would do anything. wink.png

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Our extreme right has long since become the face of the Republican party, but I don't know what this says about the actual numbers.

Hold it!

And how, exactly, is the Tea (backronym:Taxed Enough Already) Party on the "extreme right"? I maintain we're the center of the right. I believe the right side of the scale goes like this:Establishment-Tea Party-Libertarians-Anarchists. If you're going to hold your position, please, provide evidence.

And of course people will still hold bigoted views. There's still tons of racist people in the United States despite the advancement of Civil Rights for ethnic minorities. This doesn't mean, however, that we as a country do not look back on the era of Jim Crow with disgust and disappointment, and the same will inevitably be done for gay rights even though there will always be people who hate gays. Basically, my overall point is that social conservatives have an almost perfect success rate of being on the wrong side of history, and they will soon be proven wrong about this issue.

Objection!

This section (https://secure.wikim...itution#History) of the Wikipedia article on the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution notes it was Republicans that passed the measure.

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Hold it!

And how, exactly, is the Tea (backronym:Taxed Enough Already) Party on the "extreme right"? I maintain we're the center of the right. I believe the right side of the scale goes like this:Establishment-Tea Party-Libertarians-Anarchists. If you're going to hold your position, please, provide evidence.

You do realize that the Tea Party was originally a Libertarian group, right? Switching from being far right on fiscal issues to basically just being far right on social issues while pretending to still be far right on fiscal issues (which is what happened when the GOP rallied around it to gain election coverage in 2008) doesn't make it any less far right.

Objection!

This section (https://secure.wikim...itution#History) of the Wikipedia article on the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution notes it was Republicans that passed the measure.

I think you'll find, if you actually look up the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, that it was a hell of a lot more complicated than that. The Cliff's Notes version being that Republicans, specifically the "Radical Republicans," of 140 years ago are the Democrats of today, and vice versa; and that Democrats were actually the ones with the solid, unshakeable presence in the South up until Nixon was president.

Edited by Tornado

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Objection!

This section (https://secure.wikim...itution#History) of the Wikipedia article on the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution notes it was Republicans that passed the measure.

You do realise Democrats and Republicans have completely traded political views within the past century and a half, right?

Edit: Confound you and your ninja skills, Tornado! >:0

Edited by BlazingTales

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Hold it!

And how, exactly, is the Tea (backronym:Taxed Enough Already) Party on the "extreme right"? I maintain we're the center of the right. I believe the right side of the scale goes like this:Establishment-Tea Party-Libertarians-Anarchists. If you're going to hold your position, please, provide evidence.

I'm not going to entertain your demand to provide evidence of my position if the only thing you've used to try and refute this particular point of mine is your own personal belief of what the sliding scale of conservatism is, although I will say that you are highly misinformed if you believe that the group is in some way centrist. It's not and never has been.

Objection!

This section (https://secure.wikim...itution#History) of the Wikipedia article on the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution notes it was Republicans that passed the measure.

Do you realize that what we consider Republicans and Democrats today were wholly opposite back then, or that when I have referenced "Civil Rights" and specifically "Jim Crow," I am talking about the 50s and 60s and not the 1800s?

Also, do you know that it was a Democratic president who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Do you also know that it was modern Republicans who subsequently initiated the Southern Strategy of preying upon whites' fear and distrust of blacks in order to secure the South as the reliably red voting block it still is today, right?

You do also realize that social conservatism does not perfectly kowtow to party lines? African Americans generally vote Democratic but they are also primarily against same-sex marriage. The latter is a socially-conservative position. Overall, social politics and economic politics are different beasts altogether, and a person's overall political ideology is dependent upon far more factors than whether they prefer red or blue.

And especially with the last point established, you do realize that playing the game of "Well, Republicans did this so there's no way they're racist" is kind of a bullshit game to play, right?

More importantly than any of this though is why you yourself felt it good to vote against gay marriage in North Carolina. I'm not even gay and it's actually offensive to me that you would even state on this forum for all the world to read, especially one with a sizable gay community itself, that you voted yes to the proposition, forget the fact that you stated that so proudly. Do you have anything to say for yourself?

Edited by Nepenthe

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Also, do you know that it was a Democratic president who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Do you also know that it was modern Republicans who subsequently initiated the Southern Strategy of preying upon whites' fear and distrust of blacks in order to secure the South as the reliably red voting block it still is today, right?

And, going along from that, that the primary reason that the South is Republican dominated now is that Nixon used the fact that people who had been voting Democrat felt betrayed/disenfranchised by the Civil Rights Act (most of them previously having been hardcore Johnson supporters, since he was basically about as much of a Southerner as there ever has been for president), and basically manipulated them into voting Republican from then on based mostly around that?

Edited by Tornado

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I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this discussion right now, but I would like to say how absolutely fascinating this is. Seriously. I had no idea that the south used to be a Democrat stronghold, or any of that other stuff. Wonderful.

It kinda makes one curious as to whether similar about-faces of strong political allegiances might happen in other regional configurations.

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I'm not going to entertain your demand to provide evidence of my position if the only thing you've used to try and refute this particular point of mine is your own personal belief of what the sliding scale of conservatism is, although I will say that you are highly misinformed if you believe that the group is in some way centrist. It's not and never has been.

Hold it!

When did I say we're "centrist"? I said we're "the center of the right". In other words, I admit we're rightists.

Do you realize that what we consider Republicans and Democrats today were wholly opposite back then, or that when I have referenced "Civil Rights" and specifically "Jim Crow," I am talking about the 50s and 60s and not the 1800s?

Also, do you know that it was a Democratic president who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Do you also know that it was modern Republicans who subsequently initiated the Southern Strategy of preying upon whites' fear and distrust of blacks in order to secure the South as the reliably red voting block it still is today, right?

You do also realize that social conservatism does not perfectly kowtow to party lines? African Americans generally vote Democratic but they are also primarily against same-sex marriage. The latter is a socially-conservative position. Overall, social politics and economic politics are different beasts altogether, and a person's overall political ideology is dependent upon far more factors than whether they prefer red or blue.

And especially with the last point established, you do realize that playing the game of "Well, Republicans did this so there's no way they're racist" is kind of a bullshit game to play, right?

More importantly than any of this though is why you yourself felt it good to vote against gay marriage in North Carolina. I'm not even gay and it's actually offensive to me that you would even state on this forum for all the world to read, especially one with a sizable gay community itself, that you voted yes to the proposition, forget the fact that you stated that so proudly. Do you have anything to say for yourself?

I admit I did it because of my religious convictions (Conservative Catholic.) If you want proof God exists, I will gladly provide: http://www.discover-...c-miracles.com/

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Hold it!

When did I say we're "centrist"? I said we're "the center of the right". In other words, I admit we're rightists.

I admit I did it because of my religious convictions (Conservative Catholic.) If you want proof God exists, I will gladly provide: http://www.discover-...c-miracles.com/

I don't have to click on that link to know its biased bullshit, I really wonder if your just a troll because you are really pissing in the wind here. sleep.png

Edited by BW199148

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Hold it!

When did I say we're "centrist"? I said we're "the center of the right". In other words, I admit we're rightists.

Center-right means both right-leaning but also close to the center as well. I maintain that the Tea Partiers are not even this and have no relevance to the center at all.

I admit I did it because of my religious convictions (Conservative Catholic.) If you want proof God exists, I will gladly provide: http://www.discover-...c-miracles.com/

Whilst I personally believe in a god, I respectfully maintain that I would rather not be proselytized to in any manner on this forum, nor do I believe that there is physical proof of God's existence primarily because that would undermine the entire purpose of faith.

Regardless though, do you admit that you're in favor of your personal religious convictions becoming state law, e.g., do you believe in some form of theocracy in the United States? If your answer is yes, know that I find that viewpoint abhorrent, believing upmost in the separation of the church and state. If your particular church does not want to marry gays, that's all fine and dandy (though I still find it hypocritical that the religious haven't gone after the liars and adulterers in politics with the conviction they display going after LGBT people, but w/e). But to maintain that the government should uphold your convictions and even disallow them from marrying on a legal level is wrong. The very fact that it was even put up for a vote in the first place is preposterous.

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Center-right means both right-leaning but also close to the center as well. I maintain that the Tea Partiers are not even this and have no relevance to the center at all.

Well, you're moving in the right direction, I'll give you that, but you need to go just one notch over, to get where I believe the Tea Party stands.

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Assuming you're not trolling for a minute (and for the record my suspicions are not caused by your views but the timing of expressing them and your general tone) but ANYWAY:

American politics has long been skewed to the right. We've had this conversation before ages ago but it was a while back so here's a refresher: the fact that liberalism is considered left-wing in America indicates this skew. Internationally liberalism occupies the dead centre of the political axis. American politics disavows socialism and communism as legitimate political positions and its history reflects this, but the fact is people can quite easily take those positions. For example, myself: I occupy a point on the political spectrum that puts me in the socialist libertarian camp, apparently. The irony of that contradiction is not lost on me, I assure you, but it does reflect my views in brief. It's also why I don't label myself politically because I'm pretty sure that contradictory label is inaccurate by default, but I'm definitely far too left to be a liberal. I absolutely believe in governments being able to meddle directly in business' affairs and forcibly shut them down if necessary and that's no liberal position. ;)

Back to political skew: from what I hear of the Tea Party they lean right in an already right-leaning climate. It's mentioned in another thread that the Democrats are right-wing Conservatives by international standards which you may find surprising, but I suppose that's why many Americans call Europe socialist when most of it isn't. (France apparently is actually if the recent election is anything to go by.) Indeed a lot of Democrat policy reminds me of the UK Conservative party, except the UK Conservative party has openly gay members in Parliament which you may find even more surprising.

The point is: if we're talking left-right political position, it's important to distinguish between the skewed national spectrums and the international one. On this same international spectrum, the Tea Party are absolutely far-right and extremists. In fact so is the current Republican party!

What this says about American politics in general is open for interpretation but I think you know how most people, American or otherwise, interpret it. In mainstream US politics there's a very real sense of a lack of genuine choice, at least viewing it from the outside. The UK's not much better at the moment either although there are indications that the Labour party is due to return to its traditional socialist platform in the near future, which should make things interesting to say the least.

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One thing I'm curious about (and this is in regards to parties, hoping the Americans here will have answers), is why does this whole thing have to be between 2 parties?

Again my knowledge on this subject is somewhat lacking, but anytime it comes to elections I always wonder why it has to always this way. I know candidates can run as independents, but they never really have any coverage (if at all).. Surely there's enough people either dislusioned with the 2 parties or of a different view set in the states to generate at least 2 or 3 different political groups. And surely this would only improve not hinder America democratic process.

Any reasons?

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The biggest reason for a lack of political parties is psychological: people intrinsically believe that only the two major parties have any real chance of willing and influencing policy, so they psychologically block themselves from supporting other parties. Mob mentality takes over.

Interestingly in the UK election of 2010 there was actually a sign of genuine three-party politics showing up for the first time. It worked well enough to deny a strict majority for any one party and so we have the coalition now.

Unfortunately as many considered the Liberal Democrats to be the anti-Conversative party (it's not) and felt betrayed by the LibDems "jumping in bed with the enemy", the next election will probably be very two-party again.

To have three party politics, first the existing two parties have to be so undesirable that anything else is preferable.

EDIT: I accidentally several words, fixed it.

Edited by Velotix von Skruviktorrius

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One thing I'm curious about (and this is in regards to parties, hoping the Americans here will have answers), is why does this whole thing have to be between 2 parties?

Again my knowledge on this subject is somewhat lacking, but anytime it comes to elections I always wonder why it has to always this way. I know candidates can run as independents, but they never really have any coverage (if at all).. Surely there's enough people either dislusioned with the 2 parties or of a different view set in the states to generate at least 2 or 3 different political groups. And surely this would only improve not hinder America democratic process.

Any reasons?

That also dates back to Reconstruction. The political climate was so absolutely nasty at the time, because the country was basically split over whether to punish the South for the war or just let them back in and try to help them integrate back into the country (because, remember, most of the Civil War was fought in the South and it very frequently went into total war), that there was no middle ground.

And since the major party switch took nearly a hundred years to happen (again, when Nixon basically flipped the countries political party representation on its head), by that point it was basically a package deal. Before the Civil War, third parties still occasionally made major inroads into elections. After that, there was far too much corruption and backroom deals (like the 1876 election) for that to happen, and by the time the corruption was wiped out (around WWI Theodore Roosevelt's presidency) it was already too late.

Edited by Tornado

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One thing I'm curious about (and this is in regards to parties, hoping the Americans here will have answers), is why does this whole thing have to be between 2 parties?

Again my knowledge on this subject is somewhat lacking, but anytime it comes to elections I always wonder why it has to always this way. I know candidates can run as independents, but they never really have any coverage (if at all).. Surely there's enough people either dislusioned with the 2 parties or of a different view set in the states to generate at least 2 or 3 different political groups. And surely this would only improve not hinder America democratic process.

Any reasons?

To add on to Tornado and VVS, our government is not really structurally conducive to third parties in general. For example, in regards of the Presidential election, people vote on the delegates who represent a candidate(when people say that they voted for a president, look at them and laugh). This doesn't bode well for other parties because they sometimes don't even make the ballot in the state. And there is the whole process of getting on the ballot that easily favors the two major parties since they have to have a certain amount of votes per state to get them on the ballot. The same could be said of the legislative branch since the majority usually get their decisions passed anyways. The judicial branch cannot even be touched by the third parties since the President picks the nominations and the Senate affirms their pick.

Edited by turbojet

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The biggest reason for a lack of political parties is psychological: people intrinsically believe that only the two major parties have any real chance of willing and influencing policy, so they psychologically block themselves from supporting other parties. Mob mentality takes over.

Interestingly in the UK election of 2010 there was actually a sign of genuine three-party politics showing up for the first time. It worked well enough to deny a strict majority for any one party and so we have the coalition now.

Unfortunately as many considered the Liberal Democrats to be the anti-Conversative party (it's not) and felt betrayed by the LibDems "jumping in bed with the enemy", the next election will probably be very two-party again.

To have three party politics, first the existing two parties have to be so undesirable that anything else is preferable.

EDIT: I accidentally several words, fixed it.

Fun fact, just because the LibDems have never had a majority government, and this is the first time that as a party they have ever had power (Liberals or Democrats pre-merger) does not mean the UK is a two-horse country. The fact that even now, after the coalition was formed, after last thursdays mass loss of councillors, that the LD's still retained +10% of the total votes is a sign that the UK is far from "just" two parties. 10% of turnout is huge. We may only see Labour (Which now use a lot of Tory policies) and Conservatives (Who use a lot Labour policies...) in power. However, the LD+Oppersition Leaders+Unruly backbenchers have overturned matters in perliment. The LD's can push matters in Parliment and the LD's can petition.

That is a three party system.

Of course, there's all the other regional parties...

The UK's not much better at the moment either although there are indications that the Labour party is due to return to its traditional socialist platform in the near future, which should make things interesting to say the least.

To shove more British Politics. Labour really aren't. They're still pushing right-wing and away from whom Tony Blair spoke to. While the unions push in more "Posh arrogant boys" as the Leader of the Labour Party put it, Labour cannot and willnot go "more socialist". I've seen no indications that Labour will go back to it's roots, but push more of the same as the coalition has done (But without the LibDem bills which people aren't seeing push through...).

Honestly, if Milliband claims he is, he's trying to be Tony Blair. Labour are only gonna bank on being the opposite of the Tories. Even though in their 13 years as a Majority they pushed through a lot of what would be considered right-wing and "tory". But it's okay because Labour did it and the masses will still vote them because "They don't want the Tories in"...

To add on to Tornado and VVS, our government is not really structurally conducive to third parties in general. For example, in regards of the Presidential election, people vote on the delegates who represent a candidate(when people say that they voted for a president, look at them and laugh). This doesn't bode well for other parties because they sometimes don't even make the ballot in the state. And there is the whole process of getting on the ballot that easily favors the two major parties since they have to have a certain amount of votes per state to get them on the ballot.

Aha I was wondering this. Over here in the UK you just need to pay a deposit on time and you're on the ballot...

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Ron Paul will end his pursuit for the GOP nomination. However, he will continue campaigning to gain delegates.

(CNN) - An announcement from Rep. Ron Paul indicates that the Republican presidential candidate will no longer actively campaign for the GOP nomination, but will continue to work to secure delegates at upcoming Republican state conventions.

"Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted," said Paul, in a statement released Monday afternoon. "Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have."

As of April 1, Paul's campaign had $1.8 million cash on hand.

But the longtime congressman from Texas, who's making his third bid for the White House, says he'll continue to try and secure delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida in late August.

"Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future," adds Paul, in his statement.

As of April 1, Paul's campaign had $1.8 million cash on hand.

With former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich having suspended their campaigns, Paul is the last remaining major candidate still standing against former Massachusetts Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

According to the most recent CNN estimate, Romney has secured 945 delegates, compared 286 for Santorum, 145 for Gingrich and 99 for Paul. One-thousand, one-hundred and forty-four delegates are needed to clinch the nomination.

Last Wednesday Paul told CNN that he doesn't foresee lending his support to Romney any time soon, and that he's staying in the race to impact the party's agenda. He added that to reconcile his differences with Romney would, at this point, be "pretty hard."

"It certainly isn't for the reason of disrupting the convention," said Paul, of his push for delegates at state party conventions. "I'm in it for very precise reasons: to maximize our efforts to get as many delegates as we can. I'm still a candidate, and to promote something that is very, very important, that is a change in the direction for the Republican Party."

Edited by Joshua

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Gotta admire his gusto in the face of insurmountable odds, I guess. Although while I agree with him that the Republican party needs an overhaul, said overhaul need not be on a libertarian front, especially considering the surge in popularity of Rand's terrible philosophy I've seen amongst those subscribers.

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Hm, I usually try to stay out of political threads but I guess I'll add my two cents. I'm strictly a moderate but I say Obama's done a decent Job so far and I would be glad if he got re elected. A lot of people are divided on his thoughts about gay marriage and I think this might hurt him come election day.

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