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turbojet

The General American Politics Thread

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Just because there are countries out there far worse than the US, that doesn't make the US a peachy land of glittering wonder where everything is possible and everyone is better off*.

Most Americans are born poor, live on or below the poverty line, and they die poor. It's not because of laziness or lack of ability (most poor Americans work their asses off), it's, well... it's thanks to a bunch of different stuff. And now, a sort of related quote:

America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.

- Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut

*May be massive exaggeration of what was said.

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Chuck Norris swan dives off the deep end, threatening a millennium of darkness should Obama emerge victorious on November 7th:

Super-mega-hyperbolic lunacy.

Had a really strong urge to shut the video at "30,000,000 Evangelical Christians stayed home on voting day, and Obama won the election".

Keep your religion out of my politics, please.

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Meh, I can see that in part of his post, but the way it is worded still makes it sound like we should count ourselves lucky we aren't worse off.

Also about half of that comic does apply to the U.S.

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Keep your religion out of my politics, please.

That's another thing that bugs me about America is a candidate's religion. Why is it such a big deal? Over here its not even really brought up and it isn't a big deal.

I know have my reservations about Romney's religion because Bush focused and helped the Christian Right when he was in power so I am worried that if Romney is elected he might enforce his views like Pro-Life or reverse Stem Cell Research because of his religious morales. But this bullshit about Obama being a Muslim is wrong and even if he was a Muslim his views shouldn't conflict with his work.

Its like Obama only started going to Chruch when he was running for his first time before that I don't think it crossed his mind much.sleep.png

EDIT: Typo/mix up.

Edited by BW199148

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That's another thing that bugs me about America is a candidate's religion. Why is it such a big deal? Over here its not even really brought up and it isn't a big deal.

Many Americans are suspicious of non-Christians, and a lot are ill educated at best when it comes to other religions and more secular things like Atheism or Agnosticism.

As most don't know much about them, they are left to fill in the blanks themselves, and given the media's propensity for sensationalism, and the climates of fear and paranoia that have pervaded the US at various times over the past, I don't know, three quarters of a century or so... generally, anything they don't know as being 'American' is seen as being evil or otherwise negative, and bad for the country. They like familiarity, as we all do, but for them the desire for familiarity (and, by extension, trust) extends to knowing exactly what religion their leaders belong to, thanks in part to the competitive, diverse religious environment of this country (and thus its people) when compared to the UK, so that they can be assured of their good character and patriotism.

Maybe.

Or maybe I'm completely wrong and Tornado, Dissident, Gilda or someone else will come in and school me back to last year.

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Many Americans are suspicious of non-Christians, and a lot are ill educated at best when it comes to other religions and more secular things like Atheism or Agnosticism.

As most don't know much about them, they are left to fill in the blanks themselves, and given the media's propensity for sensationalism, and the climates of fear and paranoia that have pervaded the US at various times over the past, I don't know, three quarters of a century or so... generally, anything they don't know as being 'American' is seen as being evil or otherwise negative, and bad for the country. They like familiarity, as we all do, but for them the desire for familiarity (and, by extension, trust) extends to knowing exactly what religion their leaders belong to, thanks in part to the competitive, diverse religious environment of this country (and thus its people) when compared to the UK, so that they can be assured of their good character and patriotism.

Maybe.

Or maybe I'm completely wrong and Tornado, Dissident, Gilda or someone else will come in and school me back to last year.

Ha ha, it depends on perspective, mostly. From my own experience, I can say that this only really applies to the ultra-conservative population of the Bible Belt nowadays, while other parts of the country (particularly the North) are far more open-minded about what it means to be "American".

The people that think a Muslim president is by definition affiliated with Al Qaeda and will run our country into the ground are likely the same people who are against equal marriage and abortion rights, and universal health care.

Oh, also Tornado and Gilda are the same guy. tongue.png

Edited by Dissident

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But you are doing what Turbojet was saying, which is claiming the current situation is rather decent in comparison, that we should rejoice with how good we actually have it. Reducing the importance of these issues by saying other places are worse doesn't help anything. There is always a worse system to compare yours to. It may not be justification, but you sure are trying to reduce the importance of the current issues.

Nah, I'm not saying we should never change. That's not a fair reading at all. Read this again:

"I'm not saying the current arrangement is just or that no change is called for; indeed, justice is an unattainable (though intensely desirable) ideal such that there will always be a better world to (thoughtfully and carefully) strive for."

I believe in change.

But frequently we take what progress we have made for granted. That's not to shame people for being ungrateful, but to remind us that that progress can be lost. Institutions can change not only to become more fair and open, but also more corrupt and more oppressive--and often in the most complex, unpredictable, and counter-intuitive of ways. Such collapse almost always begins with an idealist with a new idea and the best intentions in the world.

So the reason I'm saying all this isn't to justify old evils, but to be vigilant and suspicious of new ones entering on us in sheep's clothing.

And again this should not be read to say that I oppose any and all change or that I believe the present state is paradise. It's a more nuanced argument than that, folks )8

Edited by Shan Zhu

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Well maybe I misread it then. That wasn't really the part that made me question your overall point but whatever, it's just me nitpicking at this point.

Onto my prediction for the winner this election... Empty Chair/Paul Ryan. Come on, you know it has a better chance than Romney.

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Chuck Norris swan dives off the deep end, threatening a millennium of darkness should Obama emerge victorious on November 7th:

Super-mega-hyperbolic lunacy.

Norris has a point. Remember when Obama was in sworn he immediately revealed himself to be Tsathoggua a lovecraftian old god from the Pantheon, and used his powers to permanently block out the sun and usher in an age composed of firey death, woe, and a health care?

Edited by Balding Spider

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Best part of the first night of the DNC, hands down:

So yeah, I was watching when Julian Castro took the stage and spoke, when that apolitical mother with kids in seemingly every branch of the military spoke, and when Michelle Obama spoke. A good bit of it sounded like your typical political spiel; "great country blah blah opportunity blah blah Obama blah," but it really seemed to get the audience hyped up, and I must admit to coming around to liking Castro and Michelle quite a lot. The former seems like he could one day be elected to the presidency itself, and the latter was powerful, stirring even, and judging from the video before she went on, is a hell of a lot of fun to be around.

I didn't watch Ann Romney speak last week, but I can't see how Michelle's speech could have failed to best her. Julian Castro was every bit as good a speaker as Marco Rubio too.

I didn't detect all that much negativity in the speeches tonight either, which was nice.

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Republican Virgil Goode will be put on the ballot for Virginia voters on election day, which could potentially break Romney's chances on securing the major swing state. The GOP is setting out to prove Goode did not secure enough delegates to get put on the vote.

Beyond Goode, Libertarian Gary Johnson will be on the ballot for multiple states, including New Mexico and Nevada.

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So, curious little cat that I am, I was wondering what the far right conservatives thought about the speeches last night. So I, somewhat warily, tuned in to Rush Limbaugh's radio show.

Big mistake.

I feel so angry right now that this man, intelligent though he apparently is, ratings-hungry that he is, knowing how much influence he has, can stomach the toxic bile that spews from his mouth.

If you only listened to people like him (and, sadly, too many people today do), anyone would think that Obama caused the economic collapse, that he took the US to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, that he alone was responsible for the $16tn national deficit, that all those unemployed people are only unemployed thanks to him.

What a fucking awful person.

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Correction: Your first big mistake was giving Rush Limbaugh the benefit of the doubt that he would have anything particularly substantial to say about the speeches being done at a convention for a political party he either despises or trolls (I can't tell which anymore). Your second mistake was using this good will as the basic reasoning to even think about tuning in. Your third was actually tuning in.

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Well, even though I've long known how nasty he is, it was usually second hand, based on stories about him I found in the press. I just wanted to hear what he was saying for myself. I knew I should expect retarded hyperbole-filled hatemongering... but it still made my blood boil to hear him talking first hand.

He was, for example, talking about how president Obama shouldn't need to read letters from people in trouble to know how bad people really have it, that he should automatically as POTUS know these things, thanks to his team of advisers and such. As if Mitt Romney, a man who has never known hardship or wanted for anything, would even read letters like that, let alone know what people are going through... >_>

The very suggestion that the POTUS actually reading letters from citizens in trouble is a bad thing makes me see red.

No wonder Republicans are mostly angry white folks; the entire conservative media presence appears to be built around making white people angry.

Edited by Patticus

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I knew I should expect hyperbole-filled hatemongering... but it still made my blood boil to hear him talking first hand.
Edited by Shan Zhu

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