1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Political Center in the U.S.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Steerpike, Oct 16, 2013.

    Interesting story I heard on State Radio today (see link, below). Though you wouldn't know it by looking to Washington, the number of reasonable people in the country may actually exceed the number of loons on either extreme of the political spectrum. There is about 6 min of streaming audio at the link:

    http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/10/15/political-center-poll
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I can believe that. Part of the reason may be that a lot of people are seeing how ineffective and stupid both sides are. The problem is that because this country basically only has two political parties, people are forced to either vote for a party they don't like/agree with or not vote at all. It's a lose-lose situation. Until there is someone to represent this new majority (which is unlikely to happen soon because of political funding and all that good stuff), we're stuck with the loons.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    True, @thirdwind. And those in power in the two main parties maintain that power by keeping their respective constituents focused on mindless partisanship and a sports-teams like atmosphere of irrationality built up around the party. People are all too eager to buy into it.

    For what it's worth, I vote candidate only, and in the last Presidential election I didn't vote for either of the main party candidates. But unless you get a lot more people voting on principle instead of casting a blind vote for a "team," or a cynical vote for a lesser evil, we'll keep getting the bad representation we deserve.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Most population subsets are distributed in a Bell curve. It's hardly surprising that political positioning would do so as well.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you think the same master is pulling the strings of both the red and blue puppets? Funny too how the original word for such a marionette 'controller' is 'manipulator'
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    Of course they do. With the unlimited funding of Citizens United one need only look at what happened today to see a small minority of well funded nut-jobs has a stranglehold on the process.

    Just after Boehner promised a vote this evening, this was announced:HERITAGE ACTION ANNOUNCES $550,000 DEFUND OBAMACARE AD CAMPAIGN, and Boehner rescinded the plan to vote.

    Normally a more level headed Speaker of the House would have prevented this mess. Apparently Boehner is either blackmailed, extorted, or he's one of the nut-jobs (which includes multiple motive options from being paid off to being afraid of competition getting funding).

    If that was the case, what is the hold up? Why not just agree to the ACA changes and blame the red side? Better yet, how do we even have an ACA if both sides are really one?
     
  7. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    makes sense. it is generally the people that care the most that are on a extreme, and generally those that care the most go out and vote. presidential elections and even primaries draw a lot of voters, but how many of us vote in state election or congress primaries.

    Gary Johnson did the best out of the third party candidates in 2012. the problem with third party candidates is you prefer one of the two over the other, and if its close its eassy to go for the lesser of two evils. If i lived in a battle ground state i might have voted differently.
     
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    Exactly, and this has also been a key piece of the GOP campaign strategy since Karl Rove wrote his Playbook. I'm convinced it's a big reason we are where we are today. Rove's Playbook worked a little too well, it backfired on the moderate GOP members.

    But just like people complained moderate Muslims weren't speaking out enough publicly against the extremists, it's the moderate GOP members that need to take their party back. I know members like Peter King are trying. He's been very vocal, we need more like him.

    A third party would be good but how do you get around the problem of splitting the vote? Not even just splitting the vote in one district, but everywhere. I fear it's up to the moderate Republicans currently to clean out their house.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The more extreme right-wingers in the House are only worried about their own districts, and it seems like this sort of thing helps them back home. That's part of the problem. But both sides are acting irresponsibly. I think independents realize that (from polls I've seen), though they place more of the blame on the GOP, which is well-deserved. We won't get far until we break people out of the party mindset, where everything gets blamed on the other side. Look at GOP voter polls and they're blaming the Dems primarily, and vice-versa. It's insane.

    I voted for Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala last time, but in California there wasn't much question as to who would win the electoral votes.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not entirely. I don't go in much for the conspiracy of a single hand behind it all. Certainly a lot of the same special interests groups are deep into both parties, but they aren't being controlled by the same hand. Problem is, they both act very much alike, particularly in terms of political gamesmanship. Politicians on both sides are concerned first and foremost about acquisition and maintenance of political power, and yet voters on both sides have been fooled into thinking their 'team' is looking out for them.
     
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    I think a lot of people underestimate that it's not just getting re-elected that matters to these guys. I think it should be considered that they are as crazy as those constituents. Career politicians like Boehner, who knows. I'm at a loss to explain his actions entirely. But these newly elected TEA Party guys, they believe the crazy stuff they say. And Michele Bachman, she's been around a while, gawd knows how that ignorance keeps getting re-elected.

    Listen to these guys, they aren't just pandering to their base, they are their base.
     
  12. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would not be surprised at all, in fact it is the exact situation I notice in several other two party democracies. I think the most hurtful thing in US politics is this self-satisfying and utterly unnecessary multi million dollar election campaign circus. It serves one purpose only - to deny the opportunity to campaign (and therefore get elected) to anyone who isn't chosen by the wealthy (most likely corporate) interest.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It doesn't help, that's for sure. Not only corporations, but any concentration of wealth and power, including concentrations of political power (which is what the two-party system gives us). But the fact that so many politically-active people are trapped in the party mentality is a bigger problem, ultimately. Look at political threads in this forum, or at U.S. political discussions elsewhere around the web, and you'll see people who just line up with the party line, no matter what it is, over and over again. With that kind of lack of reasoning exhibited by a segment of the electorate, is it any wonder at all that we are stuck in a cycle of poor representation?

    Tackling concentrated wealth in elections is important, but until you can get people to think for themselves it is not going to be as helpful as one might hope. And once you get people to think for themselves, the impact of wealth on elections may drop of its own accord.
     
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  14. jazzabel
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    I have to admit that it's surprising just how zealoted party members get, and I see that quite a bit in US and Serbia. In the UK and to a large degree Australia, people are completely cynical and almost an antithesis, in terms of despising all politicians, but the compulsory voting got to them. Mostly the extremes are blind to their party failings, whereas talk to even moderate Democrats or Republicans (or equivalents elsewhere that has similar problems) and they seem to be towing a party line in quite an unintelligent way. I wonder if propaganda and lack of political education are responsible, or maybe the status quo has been maintained for too long?
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Steerpike, the study doesn't really surprise, but the results are worth noting if one can hear them through the din and clamor of both noisy ends of the spectrum. I'm a social liberal and fiscal conservative. I believe in marriage equality and a strong, well funded military. I'm a Republicrat. My greatest concern is not that one of the parties is evil or wrong, it's that one of the parties is being damaged and fatally destabilized by a conjoined twin, a malignant fetus in fetu of sorts: the Tea Party. I want a healthy, strong Republican party as much as I want a healthy, strong Democratic party, but the Republican party is ill right now. It doesn't need our scorn, it needs our concern.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I have to tell you, @Wreybies , I think they're both ill, both untrustworthy, and both beholden to special interests and their own sense (and love) of power.

    As for political persuasion, you and I are probably pretty close. I am more liberal than most people I know on social issues (marriage equality, abortion, drug legalization (no, I don't use them), and so on), but I favor sound fiscal policy, support the second amendment, and support religious freedoms under the First Amendment (no, I'm not religious). I do think the way to have a strong, vibrant system, even when it includes only two major parties, is to have an electorate that is open-minded and reasonable, and that thinks about issues and doesn't treat the political parties like sports teams that are there to be rooted for no matter what.
     
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  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I can agree with this, I can. I think, for me, it's just that the Tea Party represents a paradigmatic change in the game. It's a gun brought to a knife fight.
     
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  18. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Not just a gun brought to a knife fight, but a gun brought by the most ignorant and foolish combatant in the knife fight. It's a problem when the stupidest guy in the room is the most well-armed.
     
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  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Here's an interesting question: if it is true, what NPR hinted at, which is that these Tea Party Republicans are actually in alignment with the majority in their district (which is why this is politically safe for them), then aren't they simply doing their jobs? We complain a lot that politicians in Washington do what is politically expedient or make deals for political reasons, rather than represent the will of the people they are supposed to represent. If the districts these guys represent want them to do this sort of thing (and a lot of the Tea Party candidates certainly campaigned on this sort of thing when they ran for office), then shouldn't they do what their constituents want, rather than what the media or voters from other districts or states want them to do? In other words, should a representative from a district in West Virginia do what I think is right (I'm in California) or what the majority of people in his district want?
     
  20. jazzabel
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    @Steerpike: Any destructive policy that impinges on basic human rights should be unacceptable, even if lots of people who live in a certain area agree with it. This is the sensible limit on democracy, I think. Because there's few things worse than terror by majority.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree @jazzabel , though I don't think what is going on in washington rises to that level.
     
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  22. JJ_Maxx
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    It's not. There's no 'basic human rights' here, there's just a ridiculous law that is going to hurt the middle class and bring government power to a whole new level. Obamacare needs to go away, and once people to start to realize how much it is going to screw them, they will be lining up to vote for Tea Party members.
     
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    @jazzabel we'll have the same with the United States of Europe soon enough when the French and Germans will be making decisions for Ireland and Serbia with relation to what's good for Berliners and Parisians.

    A guy on our street here in Carson is driving the same truck since 1970 with a GOP bumper sticker - he has always hated domocrats since his pah told him how evil JFK was. He told me he doesn't campaign, doesn't watch the news, doesn't do the GOP Roadshows but always votes... Rep. He is not alone.
     
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    My friend put an Obama/Biden sticker on his car, and I asked him, 'Which of his policies do you support?' and he said, "I don't know, he's just a really cool guy. Better than an old white guy."

    Ignorance & apathy will be pills that poison this country, from both sides.
     
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  25. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    What. The. Hell. I support Obama because of his policies, and I'm pretty damn sure I'm younger than your friend. I feel bad for you.
     

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