Author Topic: Santorum: I can't decide  (Read 5879 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2012, 08:24:14 PM »
flapdoodle, are you just going to rant about how Obama is a Republican in Democrat's clothing and about how Democrats should not vote for him or contribute money to him?  Because every single post, that's basically what you've done, and to be honest, I'd rather talk about ways to constructively solve the situation than listen to someone complain repeatedly, who's best solution is to have Democrats sit on their hands and not do anything this year.  And if you aren't interested in that, then maybe you should go complain somewhere else.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2012, 10:51:39 PM »
Flapdoodle,

You know, I get the disappointment that people on the left felt about Obama with respect to civil liberties.  I really do.  Even though I wouldn't call Bradly Manning a "prisoner of conscious,"and I'm really not upset about the fact that he's being imprisoned for what he's done, I do find a lot of what I've heard about his treatment to be troubling.  And on a personal level, I'm disappointed that we're still maintaining a prison in Cuba[1], still failing to respect the right to privacy, still in Afghanistan, etc.  All that.  But honestly, I get a little frustrated when I hear people on the left complaining about the president selling them out for doing things that he's been saying he was going to do from the begining of the campaign.  Nah, it's not even the complaining that bothers me.  It's the shock that's expressed.

He campaigned on surging in Afghanistan.  And after he was sworn in, he did that.  He specifically said that he would give the order to kill Bin Laden, even if he were in Pakistan and the Pakistani government was not on board.  I can even remember when exactly I first heard him say that.  And he did that too.  So why are we supposed to be surprised by this?  Foreign policy is the one area where the American president has the most leeway and, on this front, he did exactly what he said he was going to do.  I knew this when I voted for him.  You should have too.

On health care, since the 2008 campaign, he has been advocating something along the lines of what the Heritage Foundation was proposing in the mid nineties.  That's what he proposed as president.  With that in mind, I really wonder why I'm supposed to be disappointed with Obama for not being an advocate for single payer.  I mean, you can find videos of Obama supporting a single payer system in principle.  But they also tend to include him giving the caveat that he doesn't think that such a system is feasible right now in this country since we have an employer-based system.  And as far as I know, he hasn't publically supported single payer since he ran for the US Senate back in 2004.  Don't get me wrong, I would have loved for Obama to come out in favor of something like Medicare for all, but I wasn't surprised or disapointed that he didn't.  I knew when I voted for him that he wasn't going to do this.  You should have too.  He didn't throw you under the bus.  You weren't paying attention.

In any case, even assuming that an Obama administration and a Romney or a Santorum administration would be equally disasterous for civil liberties or foreign policy more broadly, I think there's too much at stake to sit this one out.  Personally, I'm well to the president's left, but I have been and will continue to be a strong supporter of his re-election campaign if for no other reason than a few Supreme Court appointments will likely be made in the next five years and that will potentially affect the balance of the Court for decades.  And really, with this in mind, with what the Republicans are doing in the states in mind, with what their presidential candidates are saying and what the House is doing and Republican members of the Senate are proposing, I just don't think that your position is a tenable position for a liberal to take.  I'm just not willing to empower these people on the off chance that it teaches the Democratic establishment a lesson.

I mean yo, you speak a lot about false dichotomies but it seems to me that you're guilty of one yourself.  Why is it that you think that a liberal has to endorse all of the positions of Barack Obama to vote for him?  I'm opposed to our drug war, to our drone war, to our support for Israel's burgeoning apartheid state, to out of control military spending, etc.  None of that precludes me from voting from Obama.  Obama is bad on these issues.  In some cases (the drone war) he's worse than Republicans.  In some cases he's slightly better (the drug war, military spending.)  But overall, Obama is the best we can hope for in 2012.  Because on issue after issue, on women's rights, gay rights, science, economics, etc, he's better than the Republicans.

And really, how is denying Obama a vote going to do anything but push the country further to the right?
 1. To be sure, the more I think about it, I'm not sure how Obama is supposed to actually fix this
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2012, 11:35:31 PM »
As a small addendum to Timo's post, I think it's necessary to point out that as long as we have a winner-take-all system, we're going to have this kind of situation.  Where we have a candidate that we really don't like, and a candidate that we sort of don't like but can live with.  The only way around it is to get rid of the winner-take-all system, which will in turn make third parties more viable.  When electoral votes are distributed so you don't even need a majority of the votes in the state in order to win them all, then third parties are only viewed as spoilers for the "real" contenders.  Thus we end up with situations like Florida in 2000, where the whole nationwide election turned on a mere handful of votes in one county.  And guess who got used as the scapegoat?  The Green Party candidate, because the votes he got might have made the difference without the contested votes.

That, I think, is probably the first and most necessary step towards fixing this mess we've inherited.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #61 on: March 22, 2012, 04:37:56 AM »
Yeah, I think maintaining a two party system means we have to forge messy coalitions out of necessity.  It also means that minority views, views that might be widespread but not concentrated in any particular part of the country are going to be marginialized.  If you are of the far left, the far right, a libertarian, etc, there really isn't much of a chance of electing a representative that shares most of your views under our current system.  Instead, we're stuck with this ritual of choosing the party that's better on the issues you care about (but even then, not necessarily good).  I mean as much as I want to grab people like flapdoodle by the shoulders and shake them until they agree that they need to vote for Obama[1] in the fall, I completely get why people are upset with this whole thing.

Every now and then I get into these epic arguments with a good friend of mine about politics.  He always argues that the whole system is rotten to its core and that no real change can take place until this addressed.  I don't necessarily disagree with that.  Where we tend to disagree is on the question of what should be done in the mean time.
 1. in flapdoodle's case, he can stay home.  He lives in Oregon.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #62 on: March 22, 2012, 10:45:07 AM »
flapdoodle, are you just going to rant about how Obama is a Republican in Democrat's clothing and about how Democrats should not vote for him or contribute money to him?  Because every single post, that's basically what you've done, and to be honest, I'd rather talk about ways to constructively solve the situation than listen to someone complain repeatedly, who's best solution is to have Democrats sit on their hands and not do anything this year.  And if you aren't interested in that, then maybe you should go complain somewhere else.

When you say that a Republican president would be a disaster, you consider it expressing an opinion.  When I say the Obama Administration already IS a Republican Administration and already IS a disaster, you say I am 'complaining.'  You are using labels to try to dismiss my points. That's not a legit technique of constructive discussion. 

But you are right in that repition has set in on this thread, so I shall leave after this post.  You guys say you will keep voting for the lessor of 2 evils, even though we've all been doing that the last 20 years, with the net effect being that the evils keep getting worse and worse.  Our so-called Democratic president is governing to the right of Reagan and makes Nixon look Dennis Kucinich. 

I say that we ought to try a massive expirement and everyone who feels dissonance with Obama ought to just not vote for him, instead of holding his nose and voting for a Dem out of pure fear of the Republican boogie man.

What attracts me to the idea of refusing to vote for another pseudo-Democrat is that I've never tried that option before.  Most of us haven't. 

What repels me about the option of sucking it up, holding my nose and voting for Obama is that I did that with Clintion I & II, and did it with Obama I, and am disgusted at the results.

When the Reagan and the Bushes were effing up the country, I could at least take solice in the fact that I didn't vote for them. 

Oh, one more thing about Pvt. Bradley Manning: he turned over documents to a journalist for free because he believed the public should know the truth.  He didn't expect any reward of money or power.  That makes him a prisoner of conscience, even if you disagree with what he did.  I am quite certain that posters on this thread would be appalled if a Republican president had imposed this kind of Stalinist treatment upon a whistle-blower. 

Aldrich Aimes, however, sold information to the Russians for money because Aimes' wife had expensive habits.  Ames was a traitor.  Do you guys see the difference?

Ames, BTW, was never stripped naked for 8 hours a day and wasn't held in solitary confinement for 6 months.  Nor was he held incommunicado.

And Reagan,  vile as he was, didn't permit US forces to torture prisoners and perform summary executions on US citizens.

The political system of the USA is FUBAR.  I don't know if there is a solution or not.  But IMO, throwing sand in the machinery is better than just pretending things are better than they are.  Any form of non-violent resistance is better than the old platitudes about working within the sytem.   Voting for Obama is, IMO, a symbolic form of acquiesance.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 11:04:47 AM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #63 on: March 22, 2012, 12:23:55 PM »
We in the US already have the lowest voter turnout of all industrialized countries. The right wing corporate people like it that way, because the people least likely to vote are the young, the poor and the brown. Right-wingers are putting even more barriers in the way of voting with laws banning people without specific forms of ID. The 1% doesn't want us to vote. They want us dissaffected and angry, thinking that voting does not matter because all politicians are the same. The last thing we need to do is self-disenfranchise by giving progressive-leaning people even more reasons to not vote.

We need more people involved in politics, not less. And voting is the most basic , least costly way to get people involved. Sometimes you just have to hold the line and try not to lose too much ground. Choosing political leaders is not like picking a roommate or a spouse. You don't have to love them, agree with them on everything important, or god forbid, want to have a beer with them.  How about this criteria: not being a lunatic? That may be the best bumper sticker for this year's election:

Vote for Obama. He's not a lunatic.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #64 on: March 22, 2012, 01:37:29 PM »
When you say that a Republican president would be a disaster, you consider it expressing an opinion.  When I say the Obama Administration already IS a Republican Administration and already IS a disaster, you say I am 'complaining.'  You are using labels to try to dismiss my points. That's not a legit technique of constructive discussion.
Disingenuous.  The problem is not that you have those opinions of Obama.  The problem is that you're expressing them every chance you get, however many times it's been in this thread alone, and who knows how many times elsewhere, yet your only "solution" is to tell Democrats not to vote, not to volunteer, not to donate money, in the hopes that either the Democrats will notice the lack of support and shift back to the left, or that Republicans will win in order to galvanize the left.  And you've basically refused to discuss anything except those things throughout the thread - in other words, you've refused to discuss anything constructively but what you want.  And when I get tired of it and ask you if you're just going to complain, you tell me that I'm not being constructive?

Quote from: flapdoodle64
But you are right in that repition has set in on this thread, so I shall leave after this post.  You guys say you will keep voting for the lessor of 2 evils, even though we've all been doing that the last 20 years, with the net effect being that the evils keep getting worse and worse.  Our so-called Democratic president is governing to the right of Reagan and makes Nixon look Dennis Kucinich.
I've stated repeatedly that I want to see more parties so that you can have the interests of multiple groups represented.  And Timo's very cogent post pointed out that Obama said he was going to govern this way.  There have been lots of other posts which didn't boil down to "shut up and vote Democrat because they're the lesser of two evils".  Maybe if you actually bothered to read our posts instead of simply assuming that we were saying that, we could start discussing something constructively.  Instead, I've seen nothing but negativity from you, and declarations that Democrats should just stay home so they might get galvanized next election after letting the Republicans win.  As nogodsforme rightly pointed out, we already have a stupidly low voter turnout.  Do you really think making that turnout even lower is going to do anything but play into the hands of the people who already have far too much influence on the political process and want more?

Quote from: flapdoodle64
I say that we ought to try a massive expirement and everyone who feels dissonance with Obama ought to just not vote for him, instead of holding his nose and voting for a Dem out of pure fear of the Republican boogie man.

What attracts me to the idea of refusing to vote for another pseudo-Democrat is that I've never tried that option before.  Most of us haven't.
The only reason I can think of that you think this idea will actually do anything is because you think the sudden vacuum of political pressure from the left will pull the Democrats sharply left.  What will actually happen is that the forces drawing the Democrats to the right will have even more sway, exactly as if one side in a tug-of-war suddenly dropped the rope.  In other words, it'll be even worse in four years than it is now, and the liberals who just quit will end up being that much further behind when they get around to an effective solution.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
What repels me about the option of sucking it up, holding my nose and voting for Obama is that I did that with Clintion I & II, and did it with Obama I, and am disgusted at the results.
Fine.  Nothing wrong with feeling that way, and I'm not suggesting that you vote for Obama again if you really can't stomach it.  But you need something more than just telling people not to vote en masse if you want to do something about the rightward slide the country is in.  If liberals are providing the only counter-pressure against this rightward slide, then having them just quit won't even come close to stopping it.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
When the Reagan and the Bushes were effing up the country, I could at least take solice in the fact that I didn't vote for them.
Good for you.  Doesn't mean anything, though.  You still live in the country, you still have to deal with the crap they left behind whether or not you voted for them.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
Oh, one more thing about Pvt. Bradley Manning: he turned over documents to a journalist for free because he believed the public should know the truth.  He didn't expect any reward of money or power.  That makes him a prisoner of conscience, even if you disagree with what he did.  I am quite certain that posters on this thread would be appalled if a Republican president had imposed this kind of Stalinist treatment upon a whistle-blower.
A prisoner of conscience is someone who is jailed because of conscientiously-held beliefs[1].  And yes, there are other reasons on that list, but none of them really apply here.  I suppose you would argue that he released the diplomatic cables because of conscientiously-held beliefs, but he did betray his security clearance and his oath as a soldier; furthermore, he was in a war zone and was releasing classified information about that war zone, regardless of how much damage it might do to people there.  In other words, he was betraying his fellow soldiers.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
Aldrich Aimes, however, sold information to the Russians for money because Aimes' wife had expensive habits.  Ames was a traitor.  Do you guys see the difference?
As if someone has to be paid to commit treason.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
Ames, BTW, was never stripped naked for 8 hours a day and wasn't held in solitary confinement for 6 months.  Nor was he held incommunicado.
I don't deny that the way Manning was treated was excessive.  But it wasn't the kind of sadistic treatment that you're suggesting.  For example, he was "stripped naked" because of a joke he made to the effect that he could still hurt himself with the waistband of his boxer shorts or his flip-flops.  When you're on a prevention of injury watch, one step below a suicide watch, that's not a particularly smart "joke" to make.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
And Reagan,  vile as he was, didn't permit US forces to torture prisoners and perform summary executions on US citizens.
We also weren't in the middle of the mess we're in.  If we had the kind of terrorist problems then that we have now, then it's pretty likely that we'd have seen stuff like this happening then too.

Quote from: flapdoodle64
The political system of the USA is FUBAR.  I don't know if there is a solution or not.  But IMO, throwing sand in the machinery is better than just pretending things are better than they are.  Any form of non-violent resistance is better than the old platitudes about working within the sytem.   Voting for Obama is, IMO, a symbolic form of acquiesance.
I've already suggested some things that would at least start fixing things.  Yet you think throwing sand in the machinery is the only thing to do?  Just what do you think will happen if the machinery finally breaks?  It'll make what's happening right now look like a day at the park, because if things break that badly, we'll probably have a civil war, or else collapse into a dictatorship of some kind.  It's all well and good to talk about non-violent resistance, but what you're suggesting is basically giving up and staying home.  That's not a viable solution.  You can't just say "stay home and don't vote", you have to give them something else to vote for.  And the path to achieving that is to make it possible to have more than two viable parties, which means not having a winner-take-all system.
 1. http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/prisoners-and-people-at-risk/prisoners-of-conscience
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Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #65 on: March 22, 2012, 02:00:00 PM »
Man, flapdoodle, you can believe whatever you want.  My problem with what you're saying isn't so much that I disagree with it.  Honestly, my problem with what you're saying is that it's kind of stupid.

All I can think when I read something like that is, this is why we can't have nice things.  When conservatives are upset with the perceived liberalism of their representatives, they organize against them and challenge them in primaries.  When liberals are upset, we sleep in the park, we disengage.  And in doing so we cede more and more ground to the folks on the right and the center.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2012, 02:20:50 PM »
^^^^Exactly. Then we look around and the fundies have taken over everything from dogcatcher to school boards to state legislatures. They have been manuevering themselves into positions of power and influence while we were out camping in front of the bank...

It reminds me of how the racist Boers took over from the more liberal British in South Africa. They got into every walk of life, at every level, with one unifying idea: apartheid. It took twenty years of patiently laying the groundwork in the churches, schools, local city and neighborhood councils.

They organized the Hitler Youth-- I mean the Afrikaner Youth groups. Kids grew up learning what their role would be in the new society they were going to create. Then, in 1948 they were able to take the national election. And they already had all the apparatus in place to implement apartheid.

The Nazis did the same, as does Al Qaida. Bottom up, make lists of interested people, stay in touch, encourage and support people at every level. Now ironically, the Israeli government does similar stuff, with mandatory national service, indoctrination in the schools, etc.

If it can be done so well by these narrow-minded nationalist groups, why can't we progressives get our a$$es in gear? Is it because we are not authoritarian enough and don't listen to anyone?  Can't we suck it up long enough for, as Timo said, to have nice things like single payer health care?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2012, 03:15:50 PM »
The problem is that those groups have narrow goals, too, so it's easy for them to unite together.  But more liberal or progressive groups tend to have more disparate goals, so they tend not to cooperate very well together.  What flapdoodle said makes sense in one single respect - having a powerful enemy tends to cause those differences to become less important compared to stopping the other side.  The problem is, it takes so long to get to that common ground that it's a hugely difficult uphill battle at that point.  What needs to happen is that liberals need to learn how to unite without that common enemy.
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2012, 03:28:39 PM »
I said I wouldn't post anymore on this thread, so I'm sorry, this really is the last visit from me, but a friend of mine sent me this column which speaks to the issue very eloquently:

http://www.rall.com/rallblog/2011/05/23/syndicated-column-the-evil-of-two-lessers

Although I will add one point of my own: Most of the posters on this thread think that the Republicans are so bad, that they have 'no choice' but to vote for Obama, despite Obama's awful record.  If you have 'no choice,' then this isn't really democracy and Obama isn't really democratically elected.  And considering Obama's policies regarding detention of political prisoners and Muslims, and his unprecendented assassination of American citizens without due process, this makes perfect sense. 

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2012, 03:49:59 PM »
*facepalm*

You agree completely with that, flapdoodle?  Then why continue to blow off my posts about how we need to make third parties viable rather than "spoilers"?  Why act like not voting is the only way to change things?  Damned if you vote one way, damned if you vote the other, damned if you don't vote.  Yet all you've suggested is, "don't vote".  Guess what?  You're still at fault when you sit on your hands and don't vote, because you're not doing anything to change things, you're just pretending that you can't do anything.

I don't agree with the columnist's conclusions.  I don't think we're stuck with this until we have a civil war.  Moreover, we had better hope that we don't need a civil war to change things, because that's way too chancy.  We won't be dealing with a nice and tidy North v South, because there are no "red states" and there are no "blue states".  Even in states like Nebraska and Oklahoma, considered the reddest of the red states, there's still plenty of liberals; even in states like California and Massachussets, there's still plenty of conservatives.  If we end up having a civil war, it'll be fought everywhere, and there's no guarantee that either side can win it.

When you have a machine that's starting to fall apart, you don't wait until it's collapsed entirely before you rebuild it.
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Offline atheola

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2012, 10:58:12 PM »
Flaps, look..the only analogy I can think of is we're speeding down a mountain at 150 mph and the engine is overheating and the only solution you have is...TO JUMP OUT! SAVE YOURSELF because if the engine is having problems the breaks are probably shot and rats have chewed through the seatbelts aand the airbags!
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2012, 10:47:36 AM »
*facepalm*

You agree completely with that, flapdoodle?  Then why continue to blow off my posts about how we need to make third parties viable rather than "spoilers"?  Why act like not voting is the only way to change things? 

You can call me flap, that's what they do on most boards.

No, I don't agree 100% with the columnist.  I just put that out there to show that many people are contemplate what would have been unthinkable in 2004 and 2008.

You have missed out on the fact that at least once in this thread, I have said that if there is a Green or Socialist or write-in for Pres, that's how I will vote.  If there is no Green, Socialist, Write-In Candidate , etc. on the ballot I will either not vote or I will write in the name of my best friend.

I never said 'not voting' is the only option.


I simply said 'Hell No I Won't Vote For Obama No Matter How Freaking Sick the GOP Candidate Is.'

I also said I'd sooner stick a pin in my eye than vote for Ron Paul. 

(Those aren't the exact words I used, I am paraphrasing for stylistic effect.)

My point throughout this is to challenge the liberal meme that voting for Obama is our only rational choice, which is a prevalent idea out here in liberal-land, and an idea to which I once subscribed.  There is an idea that we must suck it up and vote for someone who has betrayed our principals just because the Repub candidates are all so sick.  My point is that a vote for Obama is pretty much a vote for the GOP since under Obama the GOP plan for America has continued full-steam.   

I, for reasons previously stated, think that the following things are more rational than voting for Obama:

1. Vote Green, Socialist, Other 3rd Party (but not Libertarian!) or Write In
2. Not Voting on the presidential but voting for other offices
3. Spend Election Day getting arrested for painting the words 'baby killers' on an Army recruiting office
4.  Leading a march of homeless people to block a major throughway in your city
5. Staying home and watching a rerun of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' on Hulu

Also, I am not in favor of violent revolution but believe that taking the money out of politics will require changes equivalent to some kind of revolution...the money people have the power, and every time someone attempts to reform it legislatively, the money just finds another way to travel.   

What form would this change take?  I don't know. 

But my main point is the try to weaken the intellectual hold upon our imaginations that the 2-party system currently possesses.

We can distract ourselves by pointing the obvious cartoonish absurdities and blatant bigotries of the GOP field, but when we do this, we avoid the 800-pound gorilla in the room:

How the hell did we liberals end up supporting a president who allows torture, indefinite detention, gulags, endless war, transfer of wealth to the super-rich, and summary executions of US citizens w/o due process?

This is similar to the American passion for going after bad guys in other nations while ignoring crimes and problems in our nation...such as police depts. in Florida that have open season to hunt black males. 

Now, look, I keep promising to quit this thread, and now I will. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 10:57:50 AM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #72 on: March 24, 2012, 07:41:24 PM »
Although I will add one point of my own: Most of the posters on this thread think that the Republicans are so bad, that they have 'no choice' but to vote for Obama, despite Obama's awful record.  If you have 'no choice,' then this isn't really democracy and Obama isn't really democratically elected.

2 things.

1.  You have a choice.  This is a democracy....er democratic republic.
2.  When we say you have no choice, we mean that you have no choice as a liberal.  And we say this because there are actual things at stake in this election that you should care about, as a liberal.  There are, for example, 4 Supreme Court justices that are in their 70s.  Odds are, at least one of them, and probably more, will retire in the term of the next president.  As a liberal, you should care about who is going to replace them. 

My point throughout this is to challenge the liberal meme that voting for Obama is our only rational choice, which is a prevalent idea out here in liberal-land, and an idea to which I once subscribed.  There is an idea that we must suck it up and vote for someone who has betrayed our principals just because the Repub candidates are all so sick.  My point is that a vote for Obama is pretty much a vote for the GOP since under Obama the GOP plan for America has continued full-steam.

This idea is prevelent because it's correct.  Ask yourself, what percentage of the population would self identify as liberal, progressive or leftist?  Or maybe, what percentage of the population would agree with you, issue by issue on everything.  Then ask yourself, is that percentage enough to win a majority in the Electoral College?

I think you'd have to answer no.  There just aren't enough of us out there to make someone you'd find to be sufficiently liberal electable on the national level.  So what do we do with this information?  You seem to have convinced yourself that retreating to some symbolic bullshit about legitimization will be helpful in changing this.  I believe, and I think most liberals believe, that Obama is the only game in town in the fall.  Maybe you're right though.  Maybe lower turn out on the Democratic side will convince them that they need to energize their base in order to win.  Maybe.  But in the mean time we will have elected a Republican.  And in doing so, we will elect a person that gets to make actual policy and administrative decisions that will be at odds with our goals and who might get to make as many as 4 Supreme Court nominations.

And again, the idea that a vote for Obama is a vote for the GOP is kind of idiotic if you look at what's actually going on in our politics.  It's true that there is a lot of overlap between the GOP and the Democrats in all the wrong places.  But there are also fundamental disagreements to the party that should be important to you if you care about the lives of women, of people of color, of the poor and of religious minorities.

Also, I am not in favor of violent revolution but believe that taking the money out of politics will require changes equivalent to some kind of revolution...the money people have the power, and every time someone attempts to reform it legislatively, the money just finds another way to travel.   

What form would this change take?  I don't know. 

But my main point is the try to weaken the intellectual hold upon our imaginations that the 2-party system currently possesses.

I really don't even disagree with this.  Our system is broken in some pretty fundamental ways.  But it's not broken in a way that can or will be fixed by November.

Again, if we vote for Obama that doesn't mean we have to co-sign every position that he will take, nor does it prevent us from working to change those things that are wrong with his administration, his policies or the political system more broadly.  More to the point, if you care about this issue, you should care about who's going to nominate the next Supreme Court justices.  (Quick hint: it won't be anyone from the Green party or the Socialist party.)

However bad you think Obama is on the issue of money in politics, the Citizens United decision made things worse.  And guess what, that was a 5-4 decision, with all the liberals dissenting.  Electing a Republican would ensure that we will have more conservatives on the court and thus ensure that there will be more decisions like Citizens United.

We can distract ourselves by pointing the obvious cartoonish absurdities and blatant bigotries of the GOP field, but when we do this, we avoid the 800-pound gorilla in the room:

How the hell did we liberals end up supporting a president who allows torture, indefinite detention, gulags, endless war, transfer of wealth to the super-rich, and summary executions of US citizens w/o due process?

No matter who we elected in 2008, even including all the folks in the primary, we would probably have wound up electing somone that would allow torture, indefinite detention, etc.  Part of this is just the way our military and intelligence services do business.  Even before Bush decided we should torture our prisoners in house, we were handing over prisoners in our custody to countries that would do it for us.  With respect to indefinite detention, my guess is that this is something that's going to be a part of how we do things until there's an intervention from the judicial branch.  After 9/11, Bush modeled our response as a war effort rather than a law enforcement effort.  This means that people were taken off the "battle field" and held as if this were a case where we could release them after the end of hostilities.  As a result of all of this, there are people in detention camps that our government is sure are dangerous but can't be tried because the evidence against them is tainted by the fact that they were tortured.  Indefinite detention was thus baked into the cake.

I mean, how would you have handled it?  I know you're not planning on responding to this topic but I want you to at least think about it.  How would you fix this?  I don't think the issue here is as simple as "Obama sold us out."

As far as endless wars, man the wars are ending.  We're officially out of Iraq (though, of course we still maintain a significant troop pressence) and if all goes according to plan, we'll be out of Afghanistan in Obama's second term.  But I would say that this is a case where there really isn't much difference between the parties.  Republicans called the president weak for leaving Iraq, but there was a status of forces agreement that we had agreed to before he ever took office.

This is similar to the American passion for going after bad guys in other nations while ignoring crimes and problems in our nation...such as police depts. in Florida that have open season to hunt black males.

Before I really get into this case specifically and how it relates to Obama, let me just say that it's always been open season on hunting or otherwise harming black males in this country.  When this country was asserting its independence, most of us were in shackles.  When those shackles were broken, white folks made it their project to invent new ways to keep us in bondage, economically exploit us and threaten us with violence.  When I was growing up, in the 90s, we were made to be afraid of law enforcement and of venturing into the wrong neighborhood.  We all got what's now being called the talk in the wake of Treyvon Martin's murder.  Someone took the time to explain to us, as we were entering puberty that we, by virtue of the fact of our skin color were threatening to some people.  And it was something that we couldn't help but notice as we went about our lives.  Even if we played football in the PAL league, we could expect those same officers see us as just another suspicious character in the span of a few years.  A few weeks before Treyvon's murder, I personally gave the talk to one of my friend's sons.

But this is actually part of the reason that we need to elect Obama in November.  His administration is actually doing something about all this.  And if Romney or FSM forbid Rick Santorum are anything like George W Bush in their appointments, we can expect that this will not be the case in their hypothetical administrations.  You can read more about that here:

http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/tom-perez-justice-department-trayvon-martin

Long story short, the Obama administration is actually doing things about racist police departments, racist voting laws and racist groups in a way that the Bush administration just wasn't interested in doing and a Romney administration probably will not be interested in doing.

I don't know what your background is, but as a black person, I tend to think that this sort of thing is important.  In fact, I'd say it's more important than the fact that you feel icky about voting for Obama.

So no, the differences between Obama and the GOP field are not "distractions."  They reflect actual policy disagreements that will adversely affect actual people if the Republicans are able to come back into power.  And I tend to find that these differences are enough to compel me to vote for Obama even if he doesn't agree with me on every issue, even if I have profound disagreements in certain areas, even if I know that he will disapoint me.

So yeah man, as I said, I know that you don't plan on responding to any more posts here and so I don't expect a response, but I'm really just tired of this kind of bullshit your pushing.  I'm really tired of it.

Liberals need to grow the fuck up.
Nah son...

Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2012, 02:51:37 PM »

So yeah man, as I said, I know that you don't plan on responding to any more posts here and so I don't expect a response, but I'm really just tired of this kind of bullshit your pushing.  I'm really tired of it.

Liberals need to grow the fuck up.

I woudn't bother replying, but when you threw down the intimidating language, I kind of feel obligated. 

Yeah, I should support Obama because a macho man like you throws down the tough talk.  Yeah, I should flush my moral principals down the toilet because you said I should grow up.

The Democratic Party is now the party of 'sit down and shut up.'  Nice.

Per the Constitution, Obama is the Commander in Chief.  And while our military and spies did nasty things prior to Bush, the codification of torture and indefinite detention occurred via executive order.  The War on Terror continues at the president's pleasure.  'Extraordinary Rendition' continues at the president's pleasure. Obama has the power to order withdrawal from Afghanistan, and to end the drone strikes on Pakistan, Yemen, etc.  Obama ordered US citizens murdered.  He ordered the summary execution of OBL, and ordered OBL fed to the fishes without even a trial in absentia. 

Obama has continued and expanded the worst carryovers from the Bush adminstration...transfer of wealth overseas and to the plutocracy, Unending Imperial War, Torture, Gulags, Survellience, and mafia-style executions of alleged terrorists w/o judicial oversight. 

Who suffers disproportionally because Obama wouldn't bother with a jobs program?  Who suffers because Obama is drone-bombing their countries?  Which ethnic and socio-economic groups are disproportionally represented in the armed forces?

Obama is slaughtering civilians of all colors in his cynical continuance of Bush's wars and policies.  US Troops of all colors are killed and maimed because Obama continues the Afghanistan misadventure. 

Every day that Obama continues the Afghanistan war, billions are squandered that could have been put to use for the people of the US, but are instead pissed down the drain for the benefit of Halliburton and Blackwater. 

The Republicans actually have an extremely sweet deal with Obama in office.  He gives the Republicans everything they want, and yet because he is Democrat they can claim that everything wrong in the country is because we have a 'liberal' in the white house.  Also, because Obama has brown skin and a foriegn sounding name, the Repubs can scare the racist knuckle-draggers to cough up millions for the party. 

For liberals and progressives, the opposite is true.  Some progressives, like me, think that because Obama has thrown our interests under the bus at every turn, we should withdraw our support and begin to build coallitions aimed with a real potential to help the nation.  Others feel we should suck it up and support Obama and hope he actually does something for us in the 2nd term. 

Whereas with Bush, he was so obviously vile and odious, various factions of liberals and progressives were coming together and giving him a little opposition.  At least when Bush tortured people and shredded the constitution, there was some public outcry from the Democrats.  But when one of their own employs the tactics of brutality and totalitarianism, the Democrats rationalize it and justify it, just like the Republicans did in 2004. 

So if Romney is elected, at least I can have the satisfaction of my liberal friends being honest about it.  And maybe Romney might get a little resistance from so-called liberals, instead of the free pass that Obama gets. 

But whatever.  I am making the case the voting for Obama is not the only choice a liberal or progressive has.  If being a democrat means you have to support the tactics of brutality and shred the constitution, what is the point of being a democrat?

Obama and the Repubs both profit from the obscene racism in the USA.  Republicans profit in the obvious way.  But thanks to the obvious and disgusting racism of the Republican candidates, the issues of war, torture and wealth transfer are all pushed to the background, and no one challenges Obama on these structural issues. Whenever a conservative or Republican makes one other their idiotic racist blunders, sympathy for Obama is instantly generated amongst liberals and progressives.  Meanwhile, the racist narrative of Obama's wars against brown people in poor countries is never challenged. 

As long as I have the ability to vote Green, Socialist or Write-In, there is no way in hell I could vote for Obama.  Bush was an idiotic lunatic, but Obama is more dangerous because he's smart and cynical. 

So Timo, thanks for expressing the Democratic view so well.  Sit down, shut up, and vote for Obama.

I opposed the brutality, authoritarianism, wealth transfer and other monstrous things before they bore the Democratic Party Seal of Approval, and I will continue to oppose them.  The swath of death cut across the globe by the US juggernaut is, IMO, a great evil.  When you say that I 'feel icky' about that, and all the other brutalities committed under Obama's watch, you are trivializing the lives of millions of people. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 03:04:58 PM by flapdoodle64 »

Offline atheola

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2012, 03:04:39 PM »
I hear Obama plans on torturing, raping then killing your grandma...mostly because she's old, but there's that sadistic thing too.. I hear it'll be on MSNBC! ;)
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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #75 on: March 26, 2012, 03:07:23 PM »
I hear Obama plans on torturing, raping then killing your grandma...mostly because she's old, but there's that sadistic thing too.. I hear it'll be on MSNBC! ;)

Beautiful.  I remember when Abu Ghraib made the news, Rush Limbaugh explained that what our soliders were doing to the prisoners was no worse than a college frat initiation.  I remember how liberals pounced on him for that. 

Now liberals are minimizing torture. 

That's progress!

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2012, 03:31:44 PM »
Okay, flapdoodle, you can be the honorary (dis)loyal opposition. We hear you and you are correct. Nobody should vote for Obama because he really is the evil slathering[1] alien nazi terrorist commie muslim monkey boy that Rush Limbaugh says he is. 

The Obamanator has completely ruined the US beyond saving, and by extension, has destroyed the rest of the universe. I look outside my filthy, cracked window and see nothing but the smoking, stinking remains of what used to be a green and pristine democracy where everything was perfect and we all danced holding hands in the sunshine singing hippie songs.   :D

Obama should never have been born, if indeed he was actually born and not just some Manchurian Kenyan negro zombie clone secretly planted in that stupid beeyatch in Hawaii by our reptilian overlords. No votes for the villianous alien black zombie in the nice suit. Punish the bad, bad, black zombie! That will make everything better. Ahhh, it will be just like the good old days of Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush. When it was morning in America. :D

Now you go play with your friends in the green party and rainbow brite party and the socialist worker party and let us grown-ups worry about the real world. And we will keep on organizing to get out the Democratic vote in 2012. &)
 1. "Where da white women?"
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2012, 04:11:33 PM »
So Timo, thanks for expressing the Democratic view so well.  Sit down, shut up, and vote for Obama.

You missed my point completely.  I think you and anyone that's actually a liberal should vote for Obama, given the alternative. 

I think that I'm about as disappointed as you are with the degree of continuity between the Bush and Obama administration on surveillance and counter terrorism.  You really don't need to keep running through the laundry list, fam.  You had me at rendition.  So there's that.

My point is that these are not things that are probably not going to even be debated in the 2012 election.  And these are things that aren't going to change if liberals stay home or vote Green or Socialist in November.  There are, however, plenty of other things that you should care about, as a liberal.  In the wake of the Treyvon Martin case, for example, I really think that it's important to have a Justice Department that's interested in pursuing civil rights cases.  I mean, are these kinds of things really that unimportant to you that you would dismiss them because they don't fit with this bullshit "third term of Bush" narrative you're trying to establish?

So no, don't sit down.  Don't shut up.  I just think you should vote for Obama.  And after that we can still march.  We can still organize.  We can even occupy.[1]  Do whatever you like. 

And nah, I'm not trying to sound macho.  I'm just trying to convey how utterly frustrated I am with talking to people like you.
 1. Or you can.  I don't fucks with Occupy like that.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 04:24:14 PM by Timo »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #78 on: March 26, 2012, 05:19:53 PM »
Here's the thing.  I don't think flapdoodle is being entirely unreasonable here.  Because of the way the electoral system is set up, with winner take all rules for the most part, there are really only three choices:  Vote for Party A, vote for Party B, vote for some other party/don't vote.  So what is someone who can't stand either party supposed to do?  Swallow their disgust and vote for the party they hate the least, or protest the system they see as broken?  I don't agree with his rhetoric, but I do see his point.

It's all well and good to say that he should vote for Obama because there are things that Obama would do which would be positive in his eyes.  But what if those positives are outweighed by negatives that are far worse in his eyes?  I know that politics is about compromise, but when you have a choice between a very bad deal and a slightly less bad deal, that's not a compromise.  That's not how other people, including myself, see it, but it is how he sees it, and how he sees it is the most important thing to him.

That being said, flapdoodle himself must understand that his viewpoint isn't shared by most people.  So instead of suggesting solutions that are based on the current paradigm, he should engage with the people here.  Everyone should stop talking about who people should vote for in November and get the issues themselves hashed out, so that we all have the most complete picture that we can get.  That also means being willing to listen to what other people say on those issues, even if it's not something they agree with.  I mean, everyone who's been talking lately is a Democrat, I think, so we can give each other the respect to listen, to not get upset, to talk about it calmly and rationally.

But we aren't going to accomplish anything as long as we're talking about electing/not electing Obama.  I hope we can all agree to table that at least until after we've hashed out some other things first.
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Offline Poseidon

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #79 on: March 26, 2012, 05:48:54 PM »
While I am at odds with Flap, I give him credit for presenting his reasons for disliking Obama. Even though some of the reasons were a little shakey. Most of the Obama haters out there don't even know why they dislike him.  Refer to the now famous woman who said "keep your government hands off my medicare". She was not very bright which seems to be a characteristic of the right wingers.

When Obama is criticized for not getting enough done, the accusers ignore the fact that the House has openly, vocally and invariably dedicated itself to the destruction of the Obama presidency. The general welfare of the nation has been abandoned for the imagined benefit of the red party.  The attitude of NO! is not in the best interest of the nation or its' citizens. 


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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #80 on: March 26, 2012, 09:07:07 PM »
Changing the electoral system so we don't have the winner-take-all setup is a positive idea. But that is a long-term project, one that we should all be working on, along with getting more people involved in the process and getting more progressive candidates elected.

See? I don't have to be snarky.  :angel:
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2012, 09:37:49 PM »
Swallow their disgust and vote for the party they hate the least, or protest the system they see as broken?  I don't agree with his rhetoric, but I do see his point.

There are two real problems with thi sort of argument though:

1. We already have pretty low voter turn-out in this country.  In a year where there is a presidential election, we can expect turnout to be somewhere in the 50s.  During the mid terms, we can expect to see a little under 40 percent of voting age adults actually get out and vote.  It seems that there are already plenty of people staying home without the system taking notice.  I see no reason to think that things will change if more liberals join their ranks.  Hell, a lot of them already have.  Young people, for example, skew to the left of the general population and are fairly unreliable when it comes to actually showing up on election day.  I also don't really see what voting for a third party would accomplish, other than directing the ire of the left to that party if Obama lost in a close race, as was the case with Gore in 2000.

2. His argument that a lack of enthusiasm among liberals will somehow translate into a concerted effort on the part of the Democratic establishment makes little sense if we look at the way the parties actually operate.  In 2006 and 2008, Democratic gains were due, in large part, to the unpopularity of the Bush administration.  What a lot of liberals seem to want to forget is that the other piece of that puzzle was an effort on the part of the party, spearheaded by Rahm Emmanuel, to recruit more centrist Democrats that could win in conservative districts.  In other words, the Democrats came back into power partly by moving rightward.  I see no reason to think that they would not do the same thing if they lose in 2012, especially if the way in which the parties govern is as indistinguishable as flap is suggesting.  Compare this to what the right has done over the last few decades or so.  They've paid close attention to state and local races and primaries.  They've immersed themselves in the Republican party and shifted it far to the right..

But what if those positives are outweighed by negatives that are far worse in his eyes?  I know that politics is about compromise, but when you have a choice between a very bad deal and a slightly less bad deal, that's not a compromise.

It's a raw deal.  But so what?  Staying home won't make it less of a raw deal.  Voting Green won't make it less of a raw deal.  It might make him feel better about himself but it's not going to have a positive impact on the issues he claims to care about as a liberal.  And personally, I'd have to question how deep his concerns for a lot of issues goes when he writes things like this:

Some progressives, like me, think that because Obama has thrown our interests under the bus at every turn, we should withdraw our support and begin to build coallitions aimed with a real potential to help the nation.  Others feel we should suck it up and support Obama and hope he actually does something for us in the 2nd term.

The claim that "Obama has thrown our interests under the bus at every turn" makes sense if we restrict our thinking to our counterterrorism regime and, to some extent, our foreign policy more broadly.  But it falls apart if we start to think about other issues like union rights, access to health care and especially family planning services, enforcing civil rights laws, maintaining the social safety net, etc.  And it really falls apart when you consider that the next president will be making a number of judicial appointmens and, most significantly, some Supreme Court appointments that will affect the balance of the Court for decades to come.

I just don't see how you can actually care about these things and espouse the views that flap does.  I mean, he complains about the fact that he's been mistaken for a Ron Paul supporter, but given his singular focus on our military and intelligence services, I'm not surprised.  There's more to being a liberal than opposing things like the PATRIOT Act.

Also:

Changing the electoral system so we don't have the winner-take-all setup is a positive idea. But that is a long-term project, one that we should all be working on, along with getting more people involved in the process and getting more progressive candidates elected.

See? I don't have to be snarky.  :angel:

Indeed.
Nah son...

Offline changeling

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #82 on: March 28, 2012, 07:43:02 AM »
^^^
Quote
  We already have pretty low voter turn-out in this country.  In a year where there is a presidential election, we can expect turnout to be somewhere in the 50s.  During the mid terms, we can expect to see a little under 40 percent of voting age adults actually get out and vote.

I think a big reason for that may be the growing feeling of futility of
having to vote for the lesser of two evils.
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

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Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #83 on: March 28, 2012, 12:19:36 PM »
^^^
Quote
  We already have pretty low voter turn-out in this country.  In a year where there is a presidential election, we can expect turnout to be somewhere in the 50s.  During the mid terms, we can expect to see a little under 40 percent of voting age adults actually get out and vote.

I think a big reason for that may be the growing feeling of futility of
having to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I agree.  But that's irrelevent.  I don't think the question we're all trying to get at is whether or not our system is good or functional.  I don't think that anyone that's posted in this thread would agree with that.  Rather, the question is how do we actually work to change the system.  And personally, I just don't think that sitting out of this or any election is an effective way to nudge our system in any direction given how many people are already apathetic or disaffected.
Nah son...

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #84 on: March 28, 2012, 03:17:21 PM »
What we need is a lot more apathy.  :?
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline changeling

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #85 on: March 28, 2012, 03:44:59 PM »
^^^
Quote
  We already have pretty low voter turn-out in this country.  In a year where there is a presidential election, we can expect turnout to be somewhere in the 50s.  During the mid terms, we can expect to see a little under 40 percent of voting age adults actually get out and vote.

I think a big reason for that may be the growing feeling of futility of
having to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I agree.  But that's irrelevent.  I don't think the question we're all trying to get at is whether or not our system is good or functional.  I don't think that anyone that's posted in this thread would agree with that.  Rather, the question is how do we actually work to change the system.  And personally, I just don't think that sitting out of this or any election is an effective way to nudge our system in any direction given how many people are already apathetic or disaffected.

How can the reason be irrelevent if you are looking for a change?
You must first learn the reason for the apathy before you can attempt
to turn it around.
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

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Offline Timo

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Re: Santorum: I can't decide
« Reply #86 on: March 28, 2012, 04:01:03 PM »
Not really.

In the near term, I'm not particularly concerned with apathetic people in general as much I'm concerned with apathetic and/or disengaged liberals.  And in the case of disengaged liberals, I think the problem is ignorance, hard headedness, a lack of priorities, and an unwarranted amount of confidence in symbolic exercises.  I think that flapdoodle is a good example of each of these things.  That's my opinion.  Flap would obviously disagree and would probably accuse me of being complicit in the murder of Aghan women and children. 

There are all sorts of reasons that other, more middle of the road people might be disengaged.  But I'm not particularly concerned with them right now.  Our discussion has been revolving around liberals and the sorts of actions that liberals should take to advance our goals.
Nah son...