Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

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Uji
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Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 13 10:47

I wonder, is it really best to vote for the man or woman or best to vote for the party? The man/woman, of course, is my knee-jerk reaction. But I'm no longer so sure. As much as we like to talk like Dems & GOPs are interchangeable, they really aren't once they get into office.
I think rather it's their candidates that are interchangeable. It seems to be the party that runs the show after they are in.

What do you folks think?

Should I vote Libertarian, say, even though I oppose much of what "libertarianism" promotes because I like the Libertarian who is running? See my point? That doesn't compute. If he calls himself a Libertarian, he is identifying himself with just those policies that I oppose.

On the other hand, if we don't vote for the man/woman, we sort or doom ourselves to cookie-cutter candidates.

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Coondog
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Coondog » 2008 Aug 13 15:43

On the other hand, if we don't vote for the man/woman, we sort or doom ourselves to cookie-cutter candidates.

Maybe we,re just doomed!

You're right! When you vote for a candidate, you get all the baggage that comes with them in the form of an egocentric political party, special interests, incompetant appointees, unscrupulous cronies and a lot of unfulfillable promises.

One of the two parties and their candidate will prevail brecause that's the way it's set up. Independants, Libertarians, Naderites or anybody else merely provide an opportunity for a protest vote, which means nothing. And, as you say, even if the playing field was even, it is unlikely that one will find an entity with an agenda with which one is in complete agreement.

Well.....there are a lot of people (folks as GW calls 'em) who are so personally isolated that they adopt a party just to belong to something and embrace any and all points of view ascribable, no matter how inane or adverse to their own best interests.

As they say, never trust a republican with power and never trust a democrat with your wallet. But, even those identifications have become rather blurred of late, eh?

Personally, I don't care much for either party or their candidates, but, what else is new? I have nothing against McCain and I'm not all inspired by Obama, but I'd vote against the republicans if the democrats were running a three legged, one eyed porcupine, simply because the republicans have been giving me nightmares for two terms now and I need some rest.

And really, how much worse could a porcupine screw things up?

Coondog :joker:

Out with the bad air, in with.............

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Aug 13 16:48

This just begs the question: How is continually voting for the lesser of two evils every election year truly exercising your right to vote? How is that being true to yourself and your beliefs? How is that being any kind of real benefit to your country and fellow citizens? Ok...so that's more than one question. From where I stand, that looks like WE THE PEOPLE are the puppets.

Did you ever stop to think that:

1. The way the system is currently established is the very reason a lot of people don't vote at all.

2. If enough people voted their conscience instead of the same old same old, protest votes would stand a chance of making a huge difference in the outcome of elections.........and isn't the right to vote a right of protest by it's very nature?

3. The current "2 party system" is a joke and needs to be ditched......along with the Electoral College.

4. Elections and primaries are prohibitive to a large degree under the current system because vast amounts of money are required to participate. Kind of makes it an exclusive rich man's game. Ahhh.........nothin' like The Good Ole Boys Club!!

5. Media spin needs to stop and they should be limited to reporting nothing but the facts ma'am.

6. People are just too damn lazy to do anything except what they have always done.


Enough for now. This is a work night and I have other things to do before I head off to the salt mines.

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

10thFO

Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby 10thFO » 2008 Aug 13 19:38

Uji, I would always prefer to vote for the man or woman. I vote Republican normally but have pulled the lever to the left a few times as well. I sure as hell don't need a Red or Blue sticker to tell me who to vote for. I think that to a large part it is frivolous now, I can't understand why anyone in their right, or left, mind would run for any office. It's just not worth the humiliation and degradation one has to endure now, especially not their families. I really liked John McCain before, I don't like him as much now, but I like what he stood for before he started pandering for the votes on the "far right". I know more than a few Democrats that always said they would vote for McCain if he ever had a shot, I don't know if they will now that he has had to move to the right to far to get the GOP'ers out to vote for him. I just don't like what Obama stands for, as I have never been for more programs. I detest what Bush 42 has done in the WH.

Fangz, I'll agree with what you said, but I don't agree with doing away with the Electoral College. I think our founding fathers did a lot of things the right way, short of dividing the country up between Blue and Red states, sending all the Blue to the North so they could have their taxes and Unions, and the Red to the South so they could drill for oil and all burn in hell, I don't know what the compromise is. Even if we did that, people would still be unhappy.

I also don't agree with the way the system is, is why a lot of people don't vote. I think a lot of people don't vote, cause they are happy with what they have, or like to bitch about what they don't have. Voting to them would take time away from doing something else they liked, or liked to complain about, and might mean they actually had to make a decision for once in their lives instead of just going along with what they heard on the evening news, or their favorite "reality" show star say on E TV.

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Uji
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 16 11:20

We are so far from one-man/woman-one vote, that it does seem that something should be done. If we went to a direct vote, I think the Red/Blue nonsense would become moot. And the entire states-rights concern might finally fall away. There is not really anything left of it now except the electoral college and the make up of the senate (which gives Rhode Island the same degree of influence on national issues as California. In my book, that's just make no sense anymore).

I'm a fan of the founders, but a good percentage of them -- like Jefferson -- thought the Constitution should be rewritten with each generation. I can't see that, but I do think we should be remaking it gradually all the time. If not in America, where could you do that?

Anyway, here's my platform. (Think I could get elected?)
    make the Senaterepresentative
    eliminate the electoral college
    Then, go to the instant-runoff type of vote--where you vote for 2 or 3 candidates for each office in priority order
Some big and bold change like that might really help to get our civil life up and running again. What's to lose?

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Aug 20 21:37

Hmmmm...the drawback of the internet and its attendent forums: Anonymity. Uji, if I knew your name, I would consider writing you in at the voting booth come November. Coondog could be your running mate.



:tongue3:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Coondog
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Coondog » 2008 Aug 22 15:49

Cool!

I like running with the Big Dawgs.......when I'm not lying under the porch.

I'm sure the Uji would make a fine leader of the free world. But, the deck is stacked in favor of the two major political pirates. Aarg! Yet, neither of them has a running mate either. So.....I suppose I'm available. I have had some experience with vice.

Coondog :thumbup:

Eye patch and a wooden leg, anyone?

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Aug 26 13:31

Can you read this and still come away supporting party politics and business as usual?

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/ ... newsletter



:angry4: :banghead:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Uji » 2008 Aug 28 10:01

Thanks for the link, Fangz. I don't find that sort of thingeither very enlightening (What did you think was going on in Denver?) or helpful (So what are we gonna do about it?)

And I don't think I've heard anyone on this forum suggest that "business as usual" is the way to go.

The issue I've raised -- and that your link raises once again -- is whether or not cynicism should keep us from selecting the better of two alternatives or whether or not we should throw our vote away in order to make ourselves feel better.

It's not difficult to make fun of politicians and what they get up to. But I don't find that an adequate substitute for the support of a candidate who you think can win, and who might make some incremental move in the right direction.

Anyway, I don't get much satisfaction anymore out of noticing how corrupt and broken the system is.

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Coondog
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Coondog » 2008 Aug 28 16:07

Blue Dog Democrats!

I'm always a bit skeptical when the word 'Dog' gets thrown in. But it appears the group is made up of 47 members of the house of representatives who hold themselves forth as moderate to conservative democrats. (as opposed to the left wing, socialist, liberal, tax & spend, America hating democrats who constitute the majority). They helped keep us safe by supporting domestic spying without accountability. They deserve a party!

You know, of course, the V-chip is simply a device which turns your TV into a transmitter......so the corporate executives at Sony can laugh at silly Americans sitting around the living room in their underwear.

Coondog :cool:

Learn to Love Big Brother

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Oct 16 06:55

The closer we draw to Election Day, the less I am inclined to vote for either of the major party candidates. At some point, one must take a stand and vote their conscience.....voting for a candidate that is close in principle to what the voter believes is right for the country. A vote for either McCain or Obama is a wasted vote for this voter. These guys are the same wolf in sheep's clothing and this is a high-powered game of smoke and mirrors. ("Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", they both say.)

A colleague of mine sent me an e-mail that included an essay titled "A Wasted Vote". The essay is written by Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. This excerpt from that essay says it better thn I ever could:

When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, "He cannot win." Or, "I don't want to waste my vote." It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don't think so.

In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the "lesser of two evils." Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the "evil of two lessers."

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for "change" when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane!


So, will your vote be wasted come November? or will you vote your conscience for a change....a real change?

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Uji » 2008 Oct 16 11:53

My answer, Fangz, would be to ask for an example of a "better choice." Sen. McCain and Obama have put their plans out there, have defended them, and have stood behind them. I would think that if you plan to vote for a "better" candidate, you might share your choice with the rest of us.

If you are unwilling to present an alternative to the two you find so unappealing, I'm not sure where that leaves your argument. Is not voting taking the moral high ground? I'm not sure how you derive that claim.

And if you have a better alternative, you might want to participate in the process more actively by actually offering support for this person -- offering his/her "better" policies and character up for critique.

We all gotta do what we gotta do. And if you want to keep your more moral and conscientious choice a secret -- by all means do so.

I just have a problem with someone taking the moral high ground without actually having the intestinal fortitude to show us backsliders some sort of direction. Until you do, your claims to voting your conscience and your constant assertion that McCain/Obama are the "evil of two lessers" carries no weight. An indefinite comparison is no comparison at all. Show us this individual that is "more" than the two we've been discussing.

If you do so, you will have to be willing to defend the "morality" or conscientiousness of you choice. If you don't want to do that, fine. But then spare the rest of us the moral posturing. We've all got opinions -- just like we've all got belly-buttons.

I'm not sure just exposing one or the other to others contributes much to a discussion.

But that's just me.

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Coondog
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Coondog » 2008 Oct 16 12:30

Personally, having watched yet another dissapointing round of verbosity, I'm coming around to Fangz's point of view.

McCain, who appeared at first to have Obama by the throat, devolved into the jabbering wet feline his alter ego too often reverts to when under stress. Obama, on the other hand, sat passively by in a manner reminiscent of John Kerry and failed miserably to launch, much less land, a counter punch.

Obama's reticence, like McCain's obsession with Bill Ayres clearly reflects the advise of both of their campaign managers' poorly calculated strategies. Rather than watching two guys grossly misrepresent the other's actions and policies, I could have been watching South Park.

The final frustration came, for me - formerly leaning heavily toward Obama, when near the end he allowed McCain to ramble off a laundry list of education initiatives to be implimented at the federal level. All he had to do was ask McCain how he was going to manage that when the republican platform calls for dissolution of the Department of Education. Bang! Snap! Game over!

Or....how about, "I don't have to vote against my party when they're right!"

But no! Not armed with that kind of ammo. The handlers have sealed the script, no matter how lame it comes across.

Both candidates continue to stick to stating "facts" that have been debunked for weeks. Probably, their campaign people spoon feed this pablum because that's what they're paid to do. The facts are out there in the public domain, but Obama likely doesn't have time to surf the web.......and McCain doesn't know how!

My fellow prisoners.........my viable alternative is T. Boone Pickins.

Coondog :usa2:

Although.......I may still vote for..............................

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Oct 16 13:13

This one's for you, Uji!!

Go here: http://www.politics1.com/p2008.htm

Amongst the third party candidates I am considering:

Constitution Party: Chuck Baldwin & Darrell Castle

Green Party: Cynthia McKinney & Rosa Clemente (wow!!! 2 minority women running together!)

Independent Party: Alan Keyes & Wiley Drake

Independent-Ecology Party: Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez

Libertarian Party: Bob Barr & Wayne Root

Now, I'll give you time to read up on these folks and their platforms, beliefs, and principles. Then....beginning tomorrow morning, I'll have several days to discuss all of this with you. Hmmm........you might just learn something about us heathen Libertarians while you are reading and I do believe you stated at one point that you were interested in that.

Happy Reading and remember this:

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams



:wink:

After seeing the clips of the debate early this morning, I think my daughter and I made the best choice by opting to watch the season finale of Project Runway. High fashion beats low-brow politics any day of the week.
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Uji » 2008 Oct 16 15:22

Thanks, Fangz. I'll do my homework then get back to you. Probably won't be till next week, though. Got in-coming this weekend.

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Amy Probenski » 2008 Oct 16 21:56

fangz1956 wrote:The closer we draw to Election Day, the less I am inclined to vote for either of the major party candidates.

May I suggest that you seize the opportunity described below, and attend? You can take your "thumbs down" into and out of the Roanoke Civic Center, nothing to lose here. It should be a nice chance to see one candidate up close and, who knows, maybe something interesting will happen there for you.

:tongue3:
On October 15, 2008, The News-Gazette wrote:Details About Obama's Visit To Roanoke Released

Barack Obama’s campaign has just released information for those area residents planning to go to his rally Friday at the Roanoke Civic Center. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is recommended by visiting http://www.va.barackobama.com.

Doors will open at 10 a.m., with the program beginning at 12:30 p.m. Entry into the event will be on the Orange Avenue side of the Roanoke Civic Center at Gates 9, 10 and 11. Handicapped access is available at Gate 2.

The event is first-come, first-served, so those coming are being advised to arrive early. Parking is limited at the Roanoke Civic Center, so attendees are asked to carpool or use public transportation if possible. The Walker Avenue entrance to the Roanoke Civic Center will be closed.

With the assistance of Valley Metro and Roanoke City Schools, there will be shuttle service from the new Carilion garage located at Reserve Avenue and Jefferson Avenue and the Community Hospital garage located at Elm Avenue and Williamson Road.

The following garages may have space available: Campbell Avenue, Gainsboro, Church and the Wachovia Tower.

Members of the public seeking more information can call the Roanoke Campaign for Change office at 540....

For security reasons, attendees are asked not to bring bags or umbrellas and to limit personal items. No signs or banners will be allowed. There is also not to be any outside food or drink. Point-and-shoot cameras will be allowed.

Alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, glass or metal containers, incendiary devices or the like, knives or illegal weapons of any type, laser pointers, noise makers or any large bags, backpacks, tote bags or other similar items may not be brought into the facility.

All items brought in are subject to inspection, including coats and small bags such as purses and diaper bags. No re-entry will be allowed. Guests are not allowed to exit and re-enter without going through security again. This is a smoke free facility. Smoking is permitted at the Gates 4 and 9 only.

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fangz1956
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Oct 18 07:25

Checking out Obama's visit might have been worth a second thought if:

1. I had not worked until after 7 a.m. Friday (ten hours on your feet in a crazy place is extremely tiring)

2. Were it not Homecoming Weekend for my daughter's high school. Much to do in little time.

Now then, what do you suppose would have happened had I attended? or perhaps the better question is what would YOU have liked to see happen had I attended? Hmmmm.........were there visions of swooning and rapture and falling at the feet of the great and powerful Oz? Were there thoughts of my being swayed to vote for yet another Republicrat merely because I was in his presence? Would I have been suddenly struck dumb and banished any intelligent thought about the reality of current events and the dire mess this nation finds herself in.......and forget in the process that Obama supported this bailout and supported FISA? Would I have been blinded by the light and changed the error of my ways?

I haven't forgotten that Democrats and Republicans (the dyed in the wool kind) believe that Libertarians and Independents are just blabbering, jabbering, unintelligent, and uninformed wingnuts. How dare we not toe the party line (and yes, Dems and Reps toe the SAME line) and how dare we question what is going on inside the Beltway!

Why in the name of heaven and Earth would I consider voting for maintaining the status quo??? A vote for Obama is a vote for just that......the status quo. Of course, I must consider that the folks voting the two party (or is that really one?) line, are the same people who don't mind surrendering personal liberty in the name of "security". Yeah buddy, there is a terrorist around every corner, behind every door and under every bed and they "hate" us for our freedom and liberty. But let's look at who really "hates" us for that ( or should I say is afraid of us for that).....and we need look no further than Congress, the White House, the Treasury, the DOJ, the Fed, and Wall Street.

Hmmmm.........maybe it is time for a good ole pitch fork rebellion.

:wink:

"People shouldn't be afraid of their governments; Governments should be afraid of their people."~~V
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Vote for the Wo/Man or The Party?

Postby Wise One » 2008 Oct 18 10:07

Too bad you couldn't catch the big "O." Fangz, you're a very interesting mix of good intentions, hard work at keeping informed, skepticism, independent thought and, yes, sometimes a stubborn streak.

I just cannot accept your conclusion that
fangz1956 wrote:(and yes, Dems and Reps toe the SAME line) ... A vote for Obama is a vote for ... the status quo.

While the two parties have voted together on many more issues than I would like, the differences are nevertheless demonstrably real on many important issues. More to the point is that Obama's views and votes align even more closely with mine than those of his party.

The presidencies of McCain and Obama would be starkly different, the former showing every promise of dropping a final axe through the neck of a stifled and bound, beaten and bruised, tortured American democracy wrought by Bush Republicans. With Obama and a Democratic Congress, one has a realistic hope for real improvement, if not deliverance to perfection.

:tongue3: The world hasn't had a lot of luck with leaders who offered perfection. We had to kill them, literally, to stop their damage. :tongue3:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Uji
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Alternatives to Obama, Part I

Postby Uji » 2008 Oct 18 11:05

Well, Fangz, I’ve taken a look at your alternatives. I write this terribly long response (which I'll break up into two parts :sleepy1: ), simple because I am driven to do so. This is how my fevered brain works, so take it for whatever it's worth. (A bucket of warm spit -- not even warm any more?)

I limited my efforts to the short list you provided in your previous post. IMHO, I don’t think that either Baldwin, Barr, or Keyes can be taken seriously by anyone who supports the primacy of reason or the US Constitution. McKinney interests me more, but provides not enough information to allow me to judge her candidacy. Of the contenders, Nader interests me the most -- though not as much as Obama. I am quite certain as I write that Obama is the best candidate running, so I will simply view each candidate in comparison to my choice. No point being coy about this.

First, Barr, Keyes, Baldwin:

Fiat Currency. No rational person possessed of a sense of history, or a modicum of economic insight can take seriously a call to abolish fiat currency. One must disregard history, economics, and the nature of reality to do so. The depression of 1930, 1890, and every other in our history was accomplished under a commodity currency (gold). The fiat currency was established a mere 50 years ago and has been one of the chief means of staving off economic upheaval for so long. That aside, abolishment of fiat currency is completely and utterly impractical in a world economy. I would be happy to argue about this on another thread. Barr and Baldwin both think fiat currency should be abolished.

Department of Education. Barr and Baldwin and Keyes (I think, though it's not spelled out in so many words), would abolish the Department of Education, as well. In some abstract rationalization that might make sense (to someone else – not me); but it speaks eloquently against a person’s good sense, grasp of the real world, and ideological flexibility. Anyone willing to use a blunt instrument to cure a complex problem (like public education), is disqualified for public office. 8 years of blunt-instrument policy is enough for me.

Abortion. I’m not interested in arguing the abortion issue here – though I’d be happy to do so on a thread devoted to it. But, IMHO, anyone who places themselves at either pole of the debate is disqualified for public-policy-making office. I hold this view because I think that abortion, like every public policy issue (and especially every legal issue that measures one set of rights against another), requires compromise, reason, and finding the right balance. Both Keyes and Baldwin believe that (in Baldwin’s words) that “life begins at fertilization.” They would, therefore, abolish all abortion – all terminations after fertilization. And this is a belief, not an argued position: Baldwin/Keyes know when life begins (unlike the rest of us, who have to make an argued judgment) not because medical science sound juris prudence assures them of this, but because God has told them so.

One can reasonably argue at what point life begins (and I would participate in such an argument on a thread devoted to it), but “religious conviction” is not an argument. Rather it is a conviction based upon faith – which is to say based upon nothing but irrational belief in a personal diety who concerns himselves with such things yet seems incapapable of expressing himself clearly on the matter. Our Constitution declares unequivocally that such arguments from faith can and should carry no weight in the discourse of this republic. There are many people comfortable with argument from faith even though it is unconstitutional (not my opinion, a fact of law –Rowe v. Wade), irrational (it makes every woman – and, by extension, “god” himself -- a murderer, since billions of fertilized eggs are “aborted” monthly by every healthy woman who has a healthy partner) and unreasonable.

The Economy. Though Barr, at least in print, does not attribute his principles to divine revelation, his analysis of the economic crisis is so disconnected from reality that it’s hard to imagine where he derived them if not from divine revelation. (Perhaps he is channeling Ayan Rand.) It is Mr. Barr’s belief that If we need to eliminate “the federal government's control over the money supply, thereby leave monetary policy under the control of the market.” That means eliminate the Federal Reserve and all financial regulation; and rely solely – not mostly, but exclusively – on the “free” market to police itself. His argument for this is that “sustained federal pressure to increase mortgage lending, through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, … helped generate the huge economic bubble that just burst at great cost to every American.” This certainly “helped” create/sustain the bubble – but by comparison to the role that deregulation and Greenspan’s laisez faire monetary policy played its part was inconsequential.

Environment. Mr. Barr’s take on the environmental crisis is equally bass-ackwards: “It makes more sense to relax, or, better yet, end Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards on vehicles… than to provide the companies with billions of dollars in loans in order to help them meet ever-increasing regulatory mandates.” They are receiving loans to meet regulatory standards? Ending Fuel Economy Standards will help establish better fuel economy. Even if the present crisis hadn’t demonstrated the fallacy of this notion, simple rationality should keep one from such nonsensical view.

Constitution. Keyes would abolish both the 16th and 17th amendments. The first creates the federal income tax, the second allows US Senators to be elected by the people rather than the State Senate. I've two things to say about this: (1) Given the present state of crisis in our Republic, can you take seriously anyone who considers "state" rights a significant issue? and (2) If you can imagine a blunter instrument for dealing with a failed tax system than abolishing the income tax, I'd like to know what it is. Do you think we'd be better off if Richmond elected Senators while we sat back and watched? Do you think the tax system would be better if we all paid, say, a national sales tax rather than income tax? (You do? Well, I spend 99% of my income to survive -- so I'd be paying tax on 90% of my income. If you made over $100k/year you'd spend, on average, less than 25% of your income -- and that's the income that would be taxed. Who do you imagine benefits from abolishing the income tax?)

Therefore, I could not vote for either Keyes, Baldwin, or Barr based simply on these criteria. ( :biker: Shoot, I wouldn’t ride in a car with any of these guys driving – too marginal a grasp on reality for my taste.)
Last edited by Uji on 2008 Oct 18 11:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Uji
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Alternatives to Obama, Part II

Postby Uji » 2008 Oct 18 11:34

This is the second part of my self-indulgent (but, hey, I had to write it; you don't have to read it) post on the alternatives to Obama/McCain that Fangz suggested a few posts ago. I gave my take on Keyes, Barr, and Baldwin in the previous post :sleepy1: . Here I talk about the two I kinda-sorta like. :director:

McKinney. I like McKinney’s 14-points, though I can find no source that suggest how they might be implemented. My first reaction is to say, It’s easy to say “Eliminate all ARM mortgages and renegotiate..”; the question is how do you do that? – How do you keep from sending those martgage banks into insolvency when you do? Why should we worry about those bankers, anyway? Because our pensions, 401ks, etc. are invested in them. My neighbor’s house is on fire; and let’s say that it’s ALL their fault, I’m faultless in the matter – they were careless, smoked in bed, lit BBQs in their TV room, etc. Their house is burning down and about to catch my house on fire. Do I let both our houses burn down in order to avoid the “moral hazard”, in order to teach them a lesson…? That solution is a bit too Calvinistic for my taste. So, though I find McKinney’s rhetoric appealing (I’m a left-leaning sorta guy, after all), but cannot take her candidacy seriously because: (1) I see no mechanism for the policies she espouses, and (2) I see no evidence that she is being adviced by individuals who might have insight into such a mechanism.

[David Wlaker, former Comptroller General, is the only name she mentions. He might be qualified for such advice, but I see no evidence that she is getting competing advice from anyone else. (This is the strength of Obama’s advisors: you’ve strongly helded competing views on policy just among his advisors. There is evidence that, at the very least, he is hearing contrary points of view.)]

Nader. He's the only candidate on Fangz short list (IMHO, of course), of comparable quality to Obama -– in terms of transparency of both policies and mechanisms for implementation, and in terms of the set of advisors that will help him make decisions. Nader has a clear set of policies related to vital issues each bolstered by details of implementation. I am just unclear who he will collect around him to advise him. This is an important issue; because even if Nader had a chance of being elected, it's not clear how he could govern. How would he get policy into law? He seems to have surrounded himself with non-governmental types; how will he be able to deal with the legislature, the bureaucracy? It aint enough to get elected -- and he's not gonna be able to do that, either.

If I knew more about Nader’s team, and if it were a face-off between Nader and Obama, with each a claim to being capable of winning the election, it would be a difficult decision. I can’t say right now which way it would go. But since I don’t know about who would govern with Nader -- which is to say, I can’t find out after 10-15 minutes on Google –– I’d still go for Obama. I know what his admin would look like, and I have a sense of the odds of whether it would lean in the way I would like it too.

But even if I did know, it would make no difference. Why? Because this is all smoke and mirrors. Nader can NOT win this election. Nader, IMHO, is the only serious candidate besides Obama. (The Republican platform is sufficient for me to reject McCain from consideration. Too many of the principles enumerated there are faith-based, irrational, and contrary to the US Constitution.)

This, for me then, is a no-brainer: I vote for Obama. My object is to affect public policy by my vote, not to make myself feel better – even less to be more moral or “conscience”-driven. (1) I want things to change, and (2) I want them to change in a specific direction. To that end, I will vote for the best candidate who exhibits at least the possibility of effecting that change -- in the case of my two alternatives, Nader/Obama, that means the one who can get elected.

The only thing I'll add -- and I can do so with impunity sense no sensible person would still be reading at this point :sleepy1: : I don't think of Obama as the "evil of two lessers," or as the "lesser of two evils", or as the "best of a bad lot", or . . . I think that Obama -- as judged by the way he has run his campaign, the way he has surrounded himself with advisors both strong and varied, and the personal characteristics that these choice evince -- I can imagine Obama not just being the best candidates, but one of the great presidents of this Republic. I'm not sure I'd want to publish odds on that happening; but he's the first candidate I've ever voted for (my first being Hubert Humphrey, for Pete's sake!), of whom I've ever felt compelled to make that prediction.

So, I'm voting for Obama and -- despite the fact that someone keeps stealing the Obama signs from my pasture -- I'll continue to do whatever I can to get him elected.