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Third party voting: Throwing your vote away or the only Path to Progress?


Off-Topic Discussions

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I think the other factor here is that Ron Paul and Gary Johnson both have a broad enough appeal that it's difficult to say which way those voters would otherwise break. There is no question that Ralph Nader wasn't courting erstwhile Republican/Bush voters, but the far left.

FWIW I like Gary Johnson. I don't want him as president, but I think he's a pretty awesome guy. I think he ought to run for some sort of national office in fact.


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Frogboy wrote:
I have never in my life supported a Democrat or Republican for president of the United States. So how could my vote possibly strip away a vote for one of them? And which one entitled to my vote?

No one is "entitled" to your vote. That said, a logical calculus would encourage you to vote for the major party candidate you believe represents your views best.

Quote:
What happens when neither option would produce a more desirable outcome?

We've been through this. If neither option is more desirable, stay home (or vote third party); your vote matters not at all.

But that's an unrealistic scenario, because the likelihood of neither option producing a more desirable outcome is basically nil.

Quote:
All of the things that I care about are opposed by both major parties.

Cool, so you don't care about women's rights, the direction of education funding, tax code reform, gun rights, privacy, internet freedom, foreign policy, energy policy, etc.?

Because all of the above - and more! - are issues which the two major parties have major disagreements over; more often than not, those agreements are over the direction policy should move. If you vote for one party, those issues will progress in a certain direction. Vote for the other, and the opposite will occur.

So, again, if you don't have strong feelings about any of the issues above and the direction the country should move on them, cool, do whatever. But if you do care about any of the above issues (and an honest self-examination in light of the above issues will, I believe, reveal that you do), you should probably do your civic duty and evaluate the candidates on the issues you are concerned about.

Scott Betts wrote:
I still don't see much of a difference there.

Then I don't know what to tell you. The differences are stark and unambiguous.

If you believe that, "We support a woman's right to a safe and legal abortion should she so choose," is not much different from, "We want to make abortions illegal by amending the U.S. Constitution," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We oppose unrestricted campaign finance," is the same as, "We support unrestricted campaign finance," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We believe cuts in defense spending are absolutely vital," is the same as, "We oppose significant cuts in defense spending," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "Gays should be allowed to marry and serve openly in the military," is the same as, "Gays shouldn't be allowed to marry or serve openly in the military," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We support evidence-based sex education," is the same as "We support abstinence-only sex education," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We will push for federal student loan reform that will ensure college graduates will not have to pay more than 10% of their discretionary income on student loan repayment," is the same as, "We don't think the federal government should be in the student loan business at all," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We see climate change coming and want to regulate emissions to help make its impact manageable," is the same as, "We oppose efforts to regulate emissions," then I can't help you.

If you believe that, "We support the universal health care coverage laws put into place by President Obama," is the same thing as, "We will repeal universal health care coverage," then I can't help you.

I'm really just going down the list, here, and it's sort of tiresome because it's really just that obvious. I don't know how you're managing to delude yourself that the two platforms are similar, but they're not. You can deny it, or pass it off as rhetoric, or whatever helps you live with your cynicism and apathy, that's your call.

Quote:
And anyone who pays attention knows that 90% of that is nothing but political rhetoric.

Actually, if you were paying attention you'd know that it's not. But you're not paying attention.

Quote:
You really believe that Gore wouldn't have gone to war after 9/11?

I didn't even mention 9/11. Is it your belief that the decision to initiate the War on Terror is the only effect of the 2000 Presidential election? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.


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Frogboy wrote:


Irontruth wrote:
I could never vote for Ron Paul, because someone who would vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 will never have my vote.

He would vote against it because libertarians believe in equality. You can't have equality if you give out special favors to one group at the expense of other. This is, by definition, inequality.

You're telling me that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 has worsened equality in this country? Considering the FBI had been compiling lynching statistics until 1959, I disagree. Based on the photos and videos of police officers turning dogs and hoses on protesters, I disagree. Based on voting rights abuses before 1964, I disagree.

You might disagree about how equality was attempted, but don't try to cover my eyes in b$+&*#+~. The free market had already made it's decision on racism prior to that in the South, it had chosen to segregate, and if we had really let it have it's way, it would have kept slavery as well.


Frogboy wrote:
These are all non-issues that both parties use to try to drum up support.

You don't have even the barest clue what is a non-issue and what isn't.

Quote:
Abortion isn't going to become illegal even if the Republicans win the election. If it were, why is it still legal?

It's not about whether it will become illegal or not. No, it probably won't be made illegal - that would be a very difficult process involving either a Supreme Court revisit of Roe v. Wade or a constitutional amendment (of course, a sitting President nominates new Supreme Court justices to the bench, and it's very likely the next four years will see vacancies in the Court). But that doesn't mean that abortions won't be made more difficult or costly due to decreased federal support, or draconian regulation. Roe v. Wade is not a victory banner; it is the barest of bulwarks.

Quote:
Neither party is going to give up the ungodly amounts of money that they can now raise.

Again, you have no idea what you're talking about. Unrestricted campaign finance MASSIVELY favors Republican fundraising. Democrats have tidal waves of small-donor support. The Democratic party really does want to stamp out unrestricted campaign finance.

Quote:
Minimum wage doesn't matter because raising it just raises prices once the market corrects.

Is that what you actually think?

I mean it.

Do you actually believe that's how economics works?

Quote:
Not one of the things you mentioned is going to change in any significant way no matter who gets elected.

You would have said that four years ago, and you would have been brutally wrong.


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I am sorry, BigNorse, but I am afraid you have started your discussion from at least two fatally flawed premises: That Gore would not have done the things in office that President Bush did, and that there is any such thing in America as a "third party".

Gore would have helped to put exactly the same tax cuts in place, his military budget (his budget, period) would have been precisely the same as President Bush's, and if Gore had been elected, we would have had the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

There is no "third party" in America, because in order to have a "third party", you must first have a "second party", and in America, there is only one majority party. It has very cleverly split itself into two entities that, in public, do a very good propaganda job of acting like two separate parties, but that in private, believe exactly the same things, act in exactly the same ways and actively collude to ensure the same outcome no matter which candidate wins the (meaningless) popularity contest.

I have a truly hard time understanding how anyone who's actually been paying attention (to deed, not rhetoric) to the presidency of Barack Obama could possibly believe otherwise. Bush's tax cuts continue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued (and have been expanded, largely through drone bombing, into Pakistan). The torture continues to this day, and there was not even one single day of investigation into the tortures of the previous administration. Camp X-Ray remains open. Wall Street continues to run roughshod over all of us. The NDAA passed with Obama's signature. Domestic surveillance has been dramatically expanded (to include funding for local police departments to field military drones), and you can't even get on a plane in this country now without the very reasonable expectation that you will be sexually assaulted by a pervert in a uniform. The "most transparent administration in history" is publicly acknowledged to have failed (at least, by 19 out of 20 Cabinet-level agencies) to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (not in isolated incidents, mind you, but as a pattern of behavior). Julian Assange and Wikileaks itself have both been declared "Enemies of the State"....

I mean, really? I though President Clinton was the most Republican guy to ever hold the office...but President Obama beats him in a walk.

Simple fact of the matter is, that until you are willing to openly recognize and admit to the kind of system you actually live within, nothing you do, say, or try will ever effect any meaningful change because nothing you will be able to do, say, or try will address your real problem (that of plutocratic oligarchy).

Now, for my most offensive statement: Until you have read a first-edition printing of "Tragedy and Hope" (first-edition only...later editions were heavily edited), you really aren't qualified to talk about politics in the United States.

'The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.'

- Carrol Quigley, Tragedy and Hope

Andoran

Scott Betts wrote:
If you believe that, "We support the universal health care coverage laws put into place by President Obama," is the same thing as, "We will repeal universal health care coverage," then I can't help you.

SHOCK!

No self-respecting elephant would EVER stoop to referring to it as "Universal Health Care".

That's Obamacare, yo.


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Elbe-el wrote:
There is no "third party" in America, because in order to have a "third party", you must first have a "second party", and in America, there is only one majority party. It has very cleverly split itself into two entities that, in public, do a very good propaganda job of acting like two separate parties, but that in private, believe exactly the same things, act in exactly the same ways and actively collude to ensure the same outcome no matter which candidate wins the (meaningless) popularity contest.

This is a fiction. Everything that needs to be said about this way of thinking has already been said in this thread.

By the way, some of the things said in your post are out-and-out false. Rhetoric and falsehood combined do not make for persuasive reading (for me, at least).


Scott Betts wrote:
Elbe-el wrote:
There is no "third party" in America, because in order to have a "third party", you must first have a "second party", and in America, there is only one majority party. It has very cleverly split itself into two entities that, in public, do a very good propaganda job of acting like two separate parties, but that in private, believe exactly the same things, act in exactly the same ways and actively collude to ensure the same outcome no matter which candidate wins the (meaningless) popularity contest.

This is a fiction. Everything that needs to be said about this way of thinking has already been said in this thread.

By the way, some of the things said in your post are out-and-out false. Rhetoric and falsehood combined do not make for persuasive reading.

Which things are "out-and-out false"? Specifically?

You will notice that I provided specifics...are you capable of doing the same? If so, I will be (ecstatically) happy to engage in a reasoned, articulate debate...and if you can prove me wrong, I will acknowledge and congratulate you ( I might even call you "Sir"...).

Until you are willing to do that, though, all you've got is more of Bill O'Rielly's (or whoever's) propaganda.

P.S. I did read this entire thread, and found nothing based in fact to dispute my claims.


...btw, I would venture to ask you, Scott, how much time have you devoted to the study of propaganda? Have you undertaken intensive studies into the history, methodologies, purposes, and techniques of propaganda? How it used, who primarily uses it, how it can affect both the individual and group psyches, and why?

Call it a deflection, if you like, but I can assure you...from a position of superlative (as in...I have spent the last 20 years of my life studying this subject) education, that it is of supreme importance to our discussion.


Elbe-el wrote:
Which things are "out-and-out false"? Specifically?

The most egregiously false is the claim that Assange or Wikileaks had been legally declared enemies of the state by the U.S. government or military. While it's not precisely clear how that particular rumor got its wings, it's the kind of story that demands verification before repetition - it stretches believability and is potentially inflammatory. The story was put to rest about eight hours ago when the Pentagon made it clear that neither Assange nor Wikileaks had been considered enemies of the state at any point, and that they believe this to be primarily a matter for law enforcement.

It's fine to be out of date by eight hours. It's not fine to irresponsibly insert incendiary rumors into a diatribe based on news snippets issued only by those news media organizations unprofessional enough to run a story like this without the requisite follow-up and confirmation/clarification.

Find better sources for your news. You are vulnerable to this kind of half-baked reporting because the idea that the U.S. government or military would declare someone like Assange an enemy of the state plays nicely with your view of how the government and politics in general function. Something that you would otherwise question - indeed, something that any reasonable person would question - or hesitate before repeating as fact passes unchallenged through your mind into your arsenal of U.S.-military-political-industrial-complex-bad factoids.


Elbe-el wrote:
...btw, I would venture to ask you, Scott, how much time have you devoted to the study of propaganda?

Not as much as you have, I'm afraid, but not an insignificant amount. While I was studying political science as an undergrad I had a few classes with Dr. Yuliya Tverdova that focused, to varying degrees, on propaganda and political manipulation.


Elbe-el wrote:

I am sorry, BigNorse, but I am afraid you have started your discussion from at least two fatally flawed premises: That Gore would not have done the things in office that President Bush did, and that there is any such thing in America as a "third party".

Gore would have helped to put exactly the same tax cuts in place, his military budget (his budget, period) would have been precisely the same as President Bush's,

Just to start with the first claim: Why do you think the vice-president from an administration that actually raised taxes, (and at least temporarily balanced the budget) would have reversed that policy with the exact same cuts Bush did? He didn't campaign on it. It's not standard Democratic rhetoric the way it is for Republicans. Both cuts passed with overwhelming Republican support and a large, if not as overwhelming, Democratic opposition.

Obama did allow the cuts to continue, but he did so in exchange for letting unemployment benefits continue and several other programs that benefited the poor and the economy. He also was trying to keep a campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class, so only wanted to repeal the part of the cuts that affected the rich.

Andoran

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

As a citizen, you have a vote. If you abdicate that vote to someone who cannot win, you are not giving it to the better of the better of the two candidates, meaning they have one less vote for them and the person you like least has one less vote against them.

To quote Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

Andoran

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Elbe-el wrote:
I have spent the last 20 years of my life studying this subject) education, that it is of supreme importance to our discussion.

No you haven't. Or if you have, it hasn't been in any coherent way with peer reviewed texts on the subject.

Reading conspiracy messageboards since 1992 is not the same thing.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.

Indeed, this is my biggest problem with most libertarian thinking.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.

I'm not sure I buy that. If you want to convince me you're actually against Civil Rights legislation because of State's Rights rather than using State's Rights as cover for racism, you need to be absolutely squeaky clean on racism, which Paul isn't.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
If the US didnt' like AQ camps in Afghanistan, they could have carpet bombed those camps with impunity, sent in Spec Forces, etc, because Aghanistan didn't have any airforce or air defence network, etc.

Sending in "Special Forces" is a highly risky move even in what would be considered surgical strikes. Both Carter and Obama tried it, both missions had lives lost and copters go down. It would not have taken that much in just plain bad luck to have turned Obama's triumph into a copy of Carter's failure.

The Soviets tried the "bomb the hell out of them" approach for over a decade. They weren't particularly choosey about what they were targeting either. They still lost the ground war in the long term. Partly because we trained those people on resisting such tactics. Partly also because of major home team advantage.

Andoran

Freehold DM wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.

Indeed, this is my biggest problem with most libertarian thinking.

It works great. I mean, look how wonderful societies without government regulation are.


Scott Betts wrote:

While it's not precisely clear how that particular rumor got its wings, it's the kind of story that demands verification before repetition - it stretches believability and is potentially inflammatory. The story was put to rest about eight hours ago when the Pentagon made it clear that neither Assange nor Wikileaks had been considered enemies of the state at any point, and that they believe this to be primarily a matter for law enforcement.

It got its start, as far as I can tell: here.

The story was not "put to rest." When information is found in declassified USAF documents and then broadcast to the world and then the Pentagon declares it to not be true...that's when I start believing it.


thejeff wrote:
TheWhiteknife wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Which minority is he ignoring? The libertarians that you like? Or the fundies? Remember, Paul never came close in the primaries. Santorum did.

If anything, Romney lost votes by catering to the crazies in the Republican base, which he had to do to win the primaries, but they don't trust him enough to let him swing to the center for the general. He's a lousy candidate, only winning the primaries because the others were worse and he could swamp them with cash.

Im not sure what your point is here. You ask me if Romney is ignoring the liberty wing (minority) or the fundamentalists (pretty much not the minority). Then your next paragraph you tell me how he catered too much to the fundamentalists and will lose- which would imply that he ignored the minority view of his party and will lose.

You know, just like I said.

Maybe I'm not sure what you mean by minority then. I assumed you meant the extremists. I thought that was implied by the comparison to Democrats and Nader voters. There are plenty of minorities, even in the Republican party: racial minorities, Log Cabin Republicans, a handful of liberals and moderates, etc, etc. Why pick yours?

The thing about the current Republican party is that it has two extreme wings that aren't quite compatible: the social conservatives and the libertarians.
Romney's catered to both and both are killing his chances in the general. I didn't mean just catering to the fundies. Ryan, with his love for Ayn Rand and his plans to gut Medicare, is a blatant sop for the extreme libertarian wing.

To answer the question "Why pick mine?" Becuase the liberty wing (and to a lesser extent the Log Cabin Republicans, although theres alot of overlap) is the part that got ignored. Tell me exactly how Romney ignored the fundies? He didnt. He did try to appease us with Ryan, but most everyone took that as an insult to our intelligence, as Ryan is a corporate whore statist tool.

Voting for third party in presidential elections is a tool to be used those in the minority to effect change in their own party. I cant speak as to how effective it is, but I can speak as to how effective not doing anything is. Once again, its the system working as intended.


LazarX wrote:


The Soviets tried the "bomb the hell out of them" approach for over a decade. They weren't particularly choosey about what they were targeting either. They still lost the ground war in the long term. Partly because we trained those people on resisting such tactics. Partly also because of major home team advantage.

I'm no expert, but over the past bunch of years I'm starting to lean towards this viewpoint.

See, in particular, Points 3-6.


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ciretose wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

As a citizen, you have a vote. If you abdicate that vote to someone who cannot win, you are not giving it to the better of the better of the two candidates, meaning they have one less vote for them and the person you like least has one less vote against them.

To quote Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

I'm not abdicating that vote to someone who can't win, I'm not voting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

As a citizen, you have a vote. If you abdicate that vote to someone who cannot win, you are not giving it to the better of the better of the two candidates, meaning they have one less vote for them and the person you like least has one less vote against them.

To quote Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

I'm not abdicating that vote to someone who can't win, I'm not voting.

That essentially is a victory for whoever politics you disagree with the most, because while you may not be voting for him, you're not voting for the person who opposes him either.

For the same reasons, it's a defeat for whoever's politics align closest with your own.

So while it sounds brave and defiant, it's a self-defeating strategy.


LazarX wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

As a citizen, you have a vote. If you abdicate that vote to someone who cannot win, you are not giving it to the better of the better of the two candidates, meaning they have one less vote for them and the person you like least has one less vote against them.

To quote Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

I'm not abdicating that vote to someone who can't win, I'm not voting.

That essentially is a victory for whoever politics you disagree with the most, because while you may not be voting for him, you're not voting for the person who opposes him either.

For the same reasons, it's a defeat for whoever's politics align closest with your own.

So while it sounds brave and defiant, it's a self-defeating strategy.

You know what? I'm pretty sure Obama is going to win.

Here's what I'll do: if I am wrong, I will close my Paizo account and not post here again for four years. If I am right, I will hold each and every one of you shills for the Democrats personally responsible for every shiznitty thing Obama does. Anyone want to take the bet?

Andoran

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Who am I functionally voting for if I don't vote for anybody?

As a citizen, you have a vote. If you abdicate that vote to someone who cannot win, you are not giving it to the better of the better of the two candidates, meaning they have one less vote for them and the person you like least has one less vote against them.

To quote Rush, "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

I'm not abdicating that vote to someone who can't win, I'm not voting.

In which case you are abdicating your democratic power. Taking your ball and going home isn't generally considered effective.


Except that, of course, I don't take my ball and go home. I take my ball out on the street and peddle socialist newspapers and talk to passers-by about the need to break with the Democrats and form a revolutionary workers party.

I get that most of you don't think that's either a) a desirable goal; or b) particularly effective, but it's kind of hard to maintain that exercizing my right to free speech, free association and free press is abdicating my "democratic power."


C'mon, someone take my bet!

I mean, it's a pretty win-win situation for you guys. If Obama wins, I was going to hold you all responsible anyways, and if Romney wins, I disappear for four years!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.

So you believe that individual businesses and state and local governments should be reserved the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation and whatever and that local goverments should be empowered to enact whatever Jim Crow laws they feel like?

Do you actually believe that the United States should be a country or a Yugoslavian collection of Republics? And yes I chose my example deliberately.

A civilization either progresses as a collective, or it goes nowhere at all, save dissolution. What Abraham Lincoln said about a country existing as half free and half slave still holds true now.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Except that, of course, I don't take my ball and go home. I take my ball out on the street and peddle socialist newspapers and talk to passers-by about the need to break with the Democrats and form a revolutionary workers party.

I get that most of you don't think that's either a) a desirable goal; or b) particularly effective, but it's kind of hard to maintain that exercizing my right to free speech, free association and free press is abdicating my "democratic power."

Yes you are, because you could do all those things and vote as well. But I'm really not that convinced that you're not doing anything really other than acting out a character that you created solely for this messageboard.


Well, it's true, I skipped the paper sale this past Wednesday because my car needed to go to the shop. I already feel guilty enough without you rubbing it in.

It's also true that, in real life, I am not a goblin paladin.


An excellent point that is lost on libertarians all too often.

LazarX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
meatrace wrote:


Wait wait...so libertarians are SO pro-equality that they'd repeal a law that actual makes men and women, whites and blacks equal in the eyes of the law?

*head asplode*

Yes, because it empowers the federal government to regulate private decision practices that libertarians feel should be left to the individual or business.

For most people against the act thats probably a spurious argument acting as a cover for racism. Ron Paul is actually crazy enough to mean it.

So you believe that individual businesses and state and local governments should be reserved the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation and whatever and that local goverments should be empowered to enact whatever Jim Crow laws they feel like?

Do you actually believe that the United States should be a country or a Yugoslavian collection of Republics? And yes I chose my example deliberately.

A civilization either progresses as a collective, or it goes nowhere at all, save dissolution. What Abraham Lincoln said about a country existing as half free and half slave still holds true now.


LazarX wrote:

So you believe that individual businesses and state and local governments should be reserved the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation and whatever and that local goverments should be empowered to enact whatever Jim Crow laws they feel like?

Do you actually believe that the United States should be a country or a Yugoslavian collection of Republics? And yes I chose my example deliberately.

A civilization either progresses as a collective, or it goes nowhere at all, save dissolution. What Abraham Lincoln said about a country existing as half free and half slave still holds true now.

I'm pretty sure that neither Citizen Meatrace nor Citizen BNW are libertarians or opponents of the Civil Rights Act.

He's just explaining the "logic" of it.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

C'mon, someone take my bet!

I mean, it's a pretty win-win situation for you guys. If Obama wins, I was going to hold you all responsible anyways, and if Romney wins, I disappear for four years!

I'm thinking I need to use a rolled up newspaper on you. BAD ANKLEBITER!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
TheWhiteknife wrote:
Voting for third party in presidential elections is a tool to be used those in the minority to effect change in their own party. I cant speak as to how effective it is, but I can speak as to how effective not doing anything is. Once again, its the system working as intended.

I never registered as a member of any particular party but I voted for Nader as part of a movement that had at it's purpose one goal... to remind the Democrats that paying lip service to progressive causes the way Bill Clinton did isn't enough.

It took awhile for that to sink in, but I think Obama has at least partially gotten that message even if it took a bit of a gaffe in the pants from Biden to get him fully in the saddle on this.

I am of a middle position in that I fully recognise that both the Democrats and the Republicans answer to many of the same masters. And both are party if you will to the duopoly that exists today. That being said, while they are simmilar the two parties are not of a piece and it's those small differences despite the large similarities that have significant enough weight that I am breaking my usual traditions and voting Democratic this year as far as the Washington elections are concerned.

I would love to see New Jersey implement a fusion voting system the way New York has. I don't expect to see that happen in my lifetime though.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:


99 times out of a hundred thats the best (if depressing) way of understanding foreign policy. People that aren't "on your team" or "in your tribe" really don't merit any sacrifice on anothers part. If 100 of them need to die to save someone you know... oh well. A democracy is especially prone to this, because even if the rare individual will jeopardize their own life or well being for another, there's no way that most people will.

Its not like hypocrisy is a new idea in either politics or the US. The founding fathers were touting freedom and decrying mostly reasonable taxes as slavery while at the same time keeping actual slaves in bondage.

Just to be clear, I'm not naive or uninformed about this. I am just working under the assumption that some people there actually give a damn about this, are against this kind of behavior, and actually care if their elected representative uses their collective power to bully others.

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It has a very good PR campaign backed by a LOT of cash from the people on the industrial side of the military industrial complex who are profiting immensely off of the US tax dollar. If a politician steps up to cut military spending someone that manufactures military equipment is going to throw a bucket of cash at his opposition. In a primary race 100k can be the difference beween "John who?" and a landslide victory.

In short while its not good for the american people it IS good for the people who make the decisions about what our government does.
...

I am not oblivious to these mechanisms either. I am talking about people, who, apparently, are aware of them and yet think that Obama is, in some way, not abusing people's propaganda-generated trust in the same way

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The thing that makes me sad is that I think the ideas which support your constitution to be awesome and an example to be followed. But it appears to me that, for a long time now, US government has been turning from its Chaotic Good ideals into a Lawful Evil, realpolitik state.

When exactly did we live up to those ideals? When we had slaves? When the founders imposed the same taxes that they had decried under the king? When we slaughtered native americans for land? When we forcibly occupied the Philippines? When we started wars for United fruit? Toppled democratically elected officials to instal dictators?

There's no ideals to go "back" to. If we want to hit them it has to be by going forward. Democrats aren't moving things there fast but they're at least going in that direction.

I might have sounded a little naive, so let me express my ideas in another way:

There are indeed ideals to go back to, even if they never have been fully or even partly accomplished. The thing I sympathize with is not the "good things" the US did in its past (though there are some), but the lofty ideals which are present in its constitution. You can always strive for them. Unless, of course, we fall into a nightmare scenario where dissent is impossible.

To put it into the context of the topic at hand, unless you do want and are comfortable with a surveillance state which assassinates people abroad with no regard for concrete consequences and international law (It's good to be king, right?), I would think that a better evaluation of what Obama actually means to do and, more importantly, his ability to carry it out, would be important.

Bush was only able to carry out a good part of his worse policies because of the terrible tragedy that was 9/11. Without it, it is very unlikely that he would have the political muscle to be able to fight the opposition on his dangerous agenda.

Obama is in a different situation. He is a smart guy and he faces no opposition in his foreign policy/domestic surveillance programs, because the other party is basically ok with them. And Obama is being very cunning in the way he is implementing those things and not losing the support of his base. You are getting dangerously close to Oceania and applauding the guy for doing so.

There is one good thing of a Romney election: bad things your president does (which probably would be plenty) would be considered bad again. If Romney tried to send killer robots to murder people, allowed the wiretapping of whole communities based on their ethnicity and religion, searched peoples homes for political material, we would have people criticizing him for it instead of congratulating him on his strategic shrewdness.

To sum it up, unless you manage to escape your two-party system gridlock quickly, you will probably find yourselves in serious trouble.


Irontruth wrote:
You're telling me that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 has worsened equality in this country? Considering the FBI had been compiling lynching statistics until 1959, I disagree. Based on the photos and videos of police officers turning dogs and hoses on protesters, I disagree. Based on voting rights abuses before 1964, I disagree.

Libertarians believe that force should only be used in as a defensive last resort. It should never be used to attempt to sculpt change. You cannot use immoral acts to achieve moral outcomes.

Irontruth wrote:
You might disagree about how equality was attempted, but don't try to cover my eyes in b!@~$~!!. The free market had already made it's decision on racism prior to that in the South, it had chosen to segregate, and if we had really let it have it's way, it would have kept slavery as well.

The free market is not racist in the least. Any business that denies employment to minorities risks two things. They become less competitive in the market because they are arbitrarily limiting their pool of employees and therefor not hiring the best people. They also risk a public backlash and boycott of their product for choosing such practices. Both of these can and will hurt your business in the long run and give your competitors the upper hand to push you out of the market.

The reason people segregate is because people often choose to. Look at our communities and our school districts. No one is forcing this. It's what we as a people freely choose to do (for better or worse). I completely agree that the government should strictly ban racist practices within their ranks and policies. If you believe in freedom and liberty, our leaders must treat everyone equally. Otherwise, they're either discriminating or reverse discriminating (which is no better and just as immoral).

One thing that everyone has to consider is that change doesn't happen within the government. The government mostly reacts to change that is happening within society and just playing off of it to gain support. If the Civil Rights were not becoming popular opinion at the time, the government would not have seized upon it just like gay marriage was completely ignored until just recently. You don't really believe that Obama just happen to have a change of heart about gay marriage just as popular support shifted from negative to positive, do you?

Scott Betts wrote:
Again, you have no idea what you're talking about. Unrestricted campaign finance MASSIVELY favors Republican fundraising. Democrats have tidal waves of small-donor support. The Democratic party really does want to stamp out unrestricted campaign finance.

Do you have any proof of this or just Democratic rhetoric? If I'm not mistaken, Obama massively out-raised and out-spent McCain during last election cycle and I haven't seen anything to suggest that the Romney is raising all that much more this time around. When you're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, does it really matter if one side raises 50 or 100 million more than the other. There is a law of diminishing returns here.

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Minimum wage doesn't matter because raising it just raises prices once the market corrects.

Is that what you actually think?

I mean it.

Do you actually believe that's how economics works?

Yes, I most certainly do. It's more complicated than that. Some people lose their jobs because of minimum wage increases. Fact is that costs for businesses go up so several negative effects can happen. If you operate on thin margins, you either have to cut costs or raise prices. It's basic economics.

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Not one of the things you mentioned is going to change in any significant way no matter who gets elected.
You would have said that four years ago, and you would have been brutally wrong.

Really? I haven't noticed. All I see is Obama continuing and expanding the worst policies of George W. Bush ... who I saw expaning the worst policies of Clinton ... who I saw expanding ...

When you look beyond the rhetoric, there's little difference. Remember, the competition was John McCain, the most liberal Republican they could find.


Frogboy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
You're telling me that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 has worsened equality in this country? Considering the FBI had been compiling lynching statistics until 1959, I disagree. Based on the photos and videos of police officers turning dogs and hoses on protesters, I disagree. Based on voting rights abuses before 1964, I disagree.

Libertarians believe that force should only be used in as a defensive last resort. It should never be used to attempt to sculpt change. You cannot use immoral acts to achieve moral outcomes.

Irontruth wrote:
You might disagree about how equality was attempted, but don't try to cover my eyes in b!@~$~!!. The free market had already made it's decision on racism prior to that in the South, it had chosen to segregate, and if we had really let it have it's way, it would have kept slavery as well.
The free market is not racist in the least.

Even when that free market is allowing for slavery based entirely on race?

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Any business that denies employment to minorities risks two things. They become less competitive in the market because they are arbitrarily limiting their pool of employees and therefor not hiring the best people. They also risk a public backlash and boycott of their product for choosing such practices. Both of these can and will hurt your business in the long run and give your competitors the upper hand to push you out of the market.

Without the 1964 act, that would not have changed- racist companies had no problem denying services OR items to people of a different race- in fact, it was a selling point.

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The reason people segregate is because people often choose to. Look at our communities and our school districts. No one is forcing this. It's what we as a people freely choose to do (for better or worse). I completely agree that the government should strictly ban racist practices within their ranks and policies. If you believe in freedom and liberty, our leaders must treat everyone equally. Otherwise, they're either discriminating or reverse discriminating (which is no better and just as immoral).

Sorry, but as someone who grew up in the district and zoning system attending public school, I don't buy this in the slightest. As I have said in other threads, people who are seriously racist rely upon the blithe acceptance of such things as zoning and districts by people who aren't racist to keep very visible lines between those of different backgrounds. I know this is true because if not for actions taken on the part of my cousin when I was a lad to get me into the high school I went to, we would probably not be having this conversation.


Frogboy wrote:
Do you have any proof of this or just Democratic rhetoric? If I'm not mistaken, Obama massively out-raised and out-spent McCain during last election cycle and I haven't seen anything to suggest that the Romney is raising all that much more this time around.

The Citizens United ruling was handed down in 2010, two years after the 2008 Presidential election.

Barack Obama raised $778,642,962 during the Presidential campaign in 2008.

John McCain raised $383,913,834 during the same campaign.

In other words, Obama more than doubled McCain's fundraising efforts. That's because Obama had massive, unprecedented grassroots small-donor support. He had millions (plural) of individual donors. It is impossible to compete with that if you and your base are still mired in the fundraising strategies of yesteryear.

Obama is still massively out-raising Romney in the current election cycle. That's because Obama has managed to reactivate his donors from the previous cycle, and still has that same massive grassroots support.

This fundraising, however, is being blunted by massive donations to Republican-funded SuperPACs from individual wealthy donors. These donations do not have a limit, and are not subject to disclosure in the way that campaign donations are. To give you a rough idea of how incredibly huge SuperPAC influence is in the current cycle, the largest SuperPAC has accumulated more money in the current cycle than the 9 largest PACs put together in 2008. To date, the top five liberal-aligned SuperPACs have raised about $65 million. The top five conservative-aligned SuperPACs have raised around $152 million.

In other words, Obama has the support of huge swaths of people, and they flood the campaign with money, and that's great. But Romney has the support of a lot of very wealthy individuals who can't donate all that much to the campaign because of campaign finance laws, but can donate all they want to SuperPACs who will run ads railing against Democratic candidates.

Obama, and the rest of the Democratic party, would much rather return to the way things were handled in 2008, where they could outraise Republicans by double without having to worry about multimillionaires writing checks that negate the donations of thousands of Obama donors at a time.

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When you're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, does it really matter if one side raises 50 or 100 million more than the other.

Yes, it really does.

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Really? I haven't noticed.

Then you were on an island when Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. You were on an island when Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act into law. You were on an island when Obama expanded Pell Grants and student loan protections. And these are just a few of the things you missed.

Grand Lodge

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Jeremiziah wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
If you believe that, "We support the universal health care coverage laws put into place by President Obama," is the same thing as, "We will repeal universal health care coverage," then I can't help you.

SHOCK!

No self-respecting elephant would EVER stoop to referring to it as "Universal Health Care".

That's Obamacare, yo.

No progressive would call it "Universal Health Care" either. What it is a compromise that still incorporates much of the flaws of the health system that preceded it but has the real benefit of extending coverage into segments of the population that had been denied it before.

It's far from what's needed for a truly progressive single payer health care system, but it's better than not having it at all.

Grand Lodge

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
LazarX wrote:

So you believe that individual businesses and state and local governments should be reserved the right to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, sexual orientation and whatever and that local goverments should be empowered to enact whatever Jim Crow laws they feel like?

Do you actually believe that the United States should be a country or a Yugoslavian collection of Republics? And yes I chose my example deliberately.

A civilization either progresses as a collective, or it goes nowhere at all, save dissolution. What Abraham Lincoln said about a country existing as half free and half slave still holds true now.

I'm pretty sure that neither Citizen Meatrace nor Citizen BNW are libertarians or opponents of the Civil Rights Act.

He's just explaining the "logic" of it.

I've met a lot of Libertarians over the last few decades starting at my days on Rutgers Campus in '79. To a man, (and they were mostly men) they came from white backgrounds growing up without having any real experience of what it was like to be on the wrong side of the color divide before the era of the Civil Rights Act. Like many whites who grew up in better times than those, they tend to see the struggle as a problem in the past that's mostly a done deal.

Seeing how they describe how things would just come together and "work" if their principles were suddenly enacted, I'm not sure they're living on the same planet with me today.


I tend to agree, Citizen X.

I don't mean to speak for others, but I bet Citizens Meatrace and Wolf do as well.


Frogboy wrote:


The free market is not racist in the least. Any business that denies employment to minorities risks two things. They become less competitive in the market because they are arbitrarily limiting their pool of employees and therefor not hiring the best people. They also risk a public backlash and boycott of their product for choosing such practices. Both of these can and will hurt your business in the long run and give your competitors the upper hand to push you out of the market.

Let me put it this way: Everything you are saying to me is reinforcing to me how racist the idea of not voting for the Civil Rights Act is. Your understanding of racial relations in this country, to me, is so horribly wrong that it's hard to describe how it disgusts me.

You are wrong.

You are provably wrong, but you don't WANT to see it, so there is no point in showing you. If you are interested, I can come up with some suggested reading, but your language tells me that you aren't interested.

Feel free to support bigotry, but know this, that is EXACTLY what you are doing, whether you intend it or not.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

C'mon, someone take my bet!

I mean, it's a pretty win-win situation for you guys. If Obama wins, I was going to hold you all responsible anyways, and if Romney wins, I disappear for four years!

I don't want you to go away for 4 years, even though I doubt Romney wins.

But I want to be held accountable for everything, because that means it's my fault, which means I wield a huge amount of influence on the world... so tempting to allow you to inflate my ego.


Irontruth wrote:
Frogboy wrote:


The free market is not racist in the least. Any business that denies employment to minorities risks two things. They become less competitive in the market because they are arbitrarily limiting their pool of employees and therefor not hiring the best people. They also risk a public backlash and boycott of their product for choosing such practices. Both of these can and will hurt your business in the long run and give your competitors the upper hand to push you out of the market.

Let me put it this way: Everything you are saying to me is reinforcing to me how racist the idea of not voting for the Civil Rights Act is. Your understanding of racial relations in this country, to me, is so horribly wrong that it's hard to describe how it disgusts me.

You are wrong.

You are provably wrong, but you don't WANT to see it, so there is no point in showing you. If you are interested, I can come up with some suggested reading, but your language tells me that you aren't interested.

Feel free to support bigotry, but know this, that is EXACTLY what you are doing, whether you intend it or not.

Hold on, Irontruth, hold on. I am greatly interested in Frogboy's response to genuine criticism, not just raised voices.

Shadow Lodge

Elbe-el wrote:
I am sorry, BigNorse, but I am afraid you have started your discussion from at least two fatally flawed premises: That Gore would not have done the things in office that President Bush did, and that there is any such thing in America as a "third party".

You're making a circular argument by saying that Gore would have done all of these things so they're all the same and they're all the same because Gore would have done all of these things.

Cheney and his oil cronies were the reason we went into iraq. He made himself the focal point for all of the intelligence information coming through, and cooked it 7 ways from sunday to make it look like iraq had WMDs so that we could carve the country up for the oil companies. I can't see any mechanism for the same thing occuring under gore, who was not nearly as beholden to the oil companies.

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There is no "third party" in America, because in order to have a "third party", you must first have a "second party", and in America, there is only one majority party. It has very cleverly split itself into two entities that, in public, do a very good propaganda job of acting like two separate parties, but that in private, believe exactly the same things, act in exactly the same ways and actively collude to ensure the same outcome no matter which candidate wins the (meaningless) popularity contest.

They are close, I will grant you. No one is going to get rid of the regressive income tax of medicare, medicaid, and social security. No one is going to cut the military to the 10th its current size it needs to be for actual defense.

But i think the democrats actually will end the bush tax cuts on the top 1%. (or .1%) The democrats will at least fund social security and medicare. Democrats won't open up every last national forest for logging. Its not much but i think its all i can get.

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I have a truly hard time understanding how anyone who's actually been paying attention (to deed, not rhetoric) to the presidency of Barack Obama could possibly believe otherwise.

Because you take a look at the constitution and realize that the president has far less power than people assume he does.

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Bush's tax cuts continue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued (and have been expanded, largely through drone bombing, into Pakistan).

We're out of Iraq. Do you think that would have happened under McCain?

I would rather be drone striking into pakistan than launching a full out invasion or massvive bombing campaigns.

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The torture continues to this day, and there was not even one single day of investigation into the tortures of the previous administration. Camp X-Ray remains open.

He tried to close it, he can't get the legislation he needs to put the people somewhere else.

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Wall Street continues to run roughshod over all of us.

And what precisely can the president do about that with a congress who's quite happy to continue taking their bribes and willing to let the country go up in flames as long as it makes obama look bad?

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The NDAA passed with Obama's signature. Domestic surveillance has been dramatically expanded (to include funding for local police departments to field military drones), and you can't even get on a plane in this country now without the very reasonable expectation that you will be sexually assaulted by a pervert in a uniform.

It could just be because I'm hideous, but they never seem happy with the prospect either.


He thinks he's right, so he's not going to see the criticism. He's going to try and show you more information about why he's right and think you're ignorant/dumb/evil for not seeing it.

A really good explanation.

Now I'm guilty of some of what's in there as well, but he's not going to change his opinion based on anything in this thread.

Shadow Lodge

Irontruth wrote:

He thinks he's right, so he's not going to see the criticism. He's going to try and show you more information about why he's right and think you're ignorant/dumb/evil for not seeing it.

A really good explanation.

Now I'm guilty of some of what's in there as well, but he's not going to change his opinion based on anything in this thread.

Circular ad hom. SHOW, don't tell. Anyone can level the accusation of "you're wrong and your psycology won't let you see it" at someone else.

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Seeing how they describe how things would just come together and "work" if their principles were suddenly enacted, I'm not sure they're living on the same planet with me today.

I think they're wrong, but there's a real hope spot in it. If they think that other people would (by and large) act without racism its because that's how they would act.

Andoran

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I'm pretty sure if McCain had won, I'd be in Libya right now and we'd be fighting another unpaid war.

Shadow Lodge

Thiago Cardozo wrote:

Just to be clear, I'm not naive or uninformed about this. I am just working under the assumption that some people there actually give a damn about this, are against this kind of behavior, and actually care if their elected representative uses their collective power to bully others.

Right, but there's at least three factors that make the bullying inevtable (and one of them is actually on topic)

1) Whenever someone has to decide whats "fair" and they're involved, their idea of fair is grossly weighted in their own interests.

2) People that make a lot of money off of the US bullying other countries have a lot more influence in what actually happens than the general populace.

3) There is no option not to bully on the ticket. There is no mechanism for the voter to select not re arranging other countries in our own best interests.

I think that we can elect someone who might do it less, or at least pay a modicum of attention to the best interests of the locals when we do so.

I need a measure of measure of influence. Lets call it a Monroe, with 0 Monroes being hermatically sealing the entire US and 100 Monroes being full on supervillian "you will all send us 11nty billion dollars a year or we will nuke your country to ash! Muahahahahaha!"

If you consistantly elect a candidate at 50 Monroes both candidates will show up at around 45-55 Monroes. If you consistantly elect the candidate at 45 Monroes, eventually the candidates will show up at 45 and 50... even your worse option has gotten better. If you KEEP doing it the candidates show up at 40 and 45... the progressive of the past has become the conservative of today.

We've seen this happen with a lot of issues. Even Mit Romney isn't going to go on record as being ok with strip mining half of west virginia and just letting them dump the effluent in the river.

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I am not oblivious to these mechanisms either. I am talking about people, who, apparently, are aware of them and yet think that Obama is, in some way, not abusing people's propaganda-generated trust in the same way

If he doesn't use the power they will elect someone else who will. The courts have at least neutered a lot of the provisions in the act over the years, and I think Obama will at least pay some attention to that.

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