The problem with American politics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by lucky8, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. lucky8

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    Obviously, there are way too many problems in the American political system to address all in one post, but I believe there are a few key issues that are really preventing this country from moving forward, and I would like to discuss them.

    First and foremost, there is no middle ground in Washington right now. General political ideologies from both the left and the right have taken extreme turns in the last few years. Both Democratic and Republican views have been going further away from centrist thinking, which is causing a clusterfuck on Capitol Hill. When both sides play hardball, nothing truly meaningful gets accomplished, and we're stuck with half-assed solutions for increasingly serious problems. Case in point: spending bills. They haven't fixed the issue, they've passed a very short-term bill, in effect kicking the can down the road once again. Undoubtedly there are some people in DC who truly do care and are willing to make sacrifices, but group think amongst both parties has lead us to where we are today and is going to tear this country apart if it doesn't stop. We are in the fiscal mess we are today not because of luck, not because of chance, but specifically because of the actions our representatives have taken over the last decade.

    The second issue: rules. We, as citizens, have to follow all the rules, or we're fined or arrested. I ask, why don't they have to follow the rules? Why are there no penalties for our representatives? Why are they so special? Well, it's because they make the rules, and why would anyone penalize themselves, right? There really aren't any incentives in place to encourage our "leaders" to work together, and they are free to change the rules of the game if they so choose. Case in point: the debt ceiling. What's the point of having a debt ceiling if we're aren't going to adhere by it? Answer: there is no point. It's fucking pointless. They can't even follow their own rules, and guess what? Nothing happens to them because of it. We could turn this into a debate about freedom, and who (what class) really has it, but I would like to avoid doing so as it is another topic in and of itself.

    The third issue: corporate interests trump public interests. Large corporations use the government to expand their empires, and our government uses large corporations to expand Western culture in an effort to expand Western political ideology. Globalization. 21st century colonization. It's a modern approach, but the principles are the same as they were in the Roman era. This is why our government is hated so much, and fails to fully address the true needs of our citizens.

    We (western nations) are trying to create a global empire, fueled largely by the American government. It's pretty easy to put the pieces together if you look at the big picture. Throughout human history there has always been a nation or powerful faction of people trying to rule the world. Why on Earth would anyone think it's changed? Again, if you look at the big picture, we as a species, really are not any more civilized than we were 500 years ago. Greed, oppression, torture, you name it is as rampant as ever. Whether you're for or against a one world mentality is irrelevant, the issue at hand is that it's happening, and is causing a severe threat not to our nation, but to all of us people who feel the squeeze everyday.

    My question to you is what are you going to do when your taxes go up? Can you afford to lose $150 out of each paycheck? How about interest rates? Can you afford an extra $100 a month on a mortgage? What are you going to do about gas prices? There goes an extra $60 a month. Food, water, and electricity? Add another $100 to your total. Health insurance? Add another $50 a month. Face it, this is reality. In a few years we are going to be in serious hot water if our representatives don't come together and fix the problems they've created over the years. In order to begin fixing this however, we the people must put our political differences aside. By this point it should be blatantly obvious to everyone that our government is just too big. It costs too much, and we don't have the money to pay for it, plain and simple.

    There are those that will argue that we need a federal government to take care of those that can't take care of themselves. And then there are those that will argue that if we weren't taxed so much, those that need taking care of could afford to take care of themselves. Both statements are true. We must work together to find a middle ground that brings us a small, efficient government that is fully capable of meeting our needs. It is possible, but there has to be compromise, and many issues need to be solved at the state level rather than federal. In order for us to begin seeing a change in politics in DC, we must come together, left and right, and show that we are willing to cooperate rather than argue. If we can come together and show our leaders that we are one nation of Americans rather than two nations of Democrats and Republicans, they will begin to change as they will start fearing for their political careers. Fear of non re-election is the only thing that motivates these people to work for us, we need to take control of politics again.
     
  2. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    The problem with the American system of politics is nothing, except that the general population is majoritatively not intelligent enough to select competent leader. Chija's leaders are selected based on merit, and they have accelerated from a 3rd world country 20 years ago, to surpassing the most prosperous nation, in terms of GDP, in about 5 years.
     
  3. rob_just_rob

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    It's a bit unfair to say "the problem with American politics". There are similar problems just about everywhere. There is very little incentive for governments to even attempt to solve systemic, long term problems, simply because they don't anticipate being around for the long term. Very few leaders can force themselves to look beyond winning the next election - or even the next poll. If the voters could ever bother looking beyond their immediate wants, we might see a change from the politicians.

    I'm not holding my breath.
     
  4. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Wouldn't you say that large parts of the Republican Party have moved far further from the centre than the Democrats have?
     
  5. B_RedDude

    B_RedDude New Member

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    The problem with American politics are Republican and other conservative voters. Period.
     
  6. superbot

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    American politics, it would seem, is largely a branch of showbiz.It seems to be way too geared towards tv and therefore my perception is that it is mostly style over content.Oh,and of course $$$.
     
  7. At.your.cervix

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    Welcome to the nightmare which Thomas Jefferson imagined: democracy where there is an uninformed electorate. What has been going on for better than half a cenury now is that Americans have been (to paraphrase Neil Postman) amusing themselves to death. Serious social and political discourse has been reduced to sound-bites. So much so that all one gets from talking with one's neighbors is meaningless drivel full of oversimplifications and factual inaccuracies.

    Of course, that's what our news media has been presenting us with in its unrelenting drive to increase revenues. If Glen Beck and his ilk garner an audience, and thus revenues, then we will get Glen Beck and as many Glen Beck clones as are finacially viable. But it's not just Glen Beck--he's just been mor successful than others. If preaching Marxist dictums would get an audience, we'd be hearing those as well. Newspapers and broadcast journalism have conformed to the reality that they are business enterprises, first and foremost, and unfortunately it has literally come to the point where "the good of the public be damned."

    Soi what do we get? Sound bites of politicians moaning both about our government's overspending as well as pledges not to raise taxes. Of course there are few journalists noting that the US is undertaxed (sorry Lucky 8, but it is) when compared to the rest of the industrialized nations. We also get politicians swearing that public healthcare will bring about "death squads" who determine who will live and who will die. Where are the voices saying "uh fellows, we already have that with private insurance companies putting caps on care?" And who is voicing the demonstrable fact that the overall quality of public health is substantially better in the other industrial nations who have adopted public healthcare? Nobody, because those sort of discussions don't lend themselves to sound bites, nor do the draw an audience, so we don't hear them.

    What we wind up with are politicians who to cut taxes have been slashing services nationwide, like police, fire departments, education, and God knows how many different social services. Why? Because nobody wants to talk about the fact that we both need a wide range of governmental services and must pay for them. That's an uncomfortable reality that turns off viewers and readers--so we don't hear it.

    What we must have, if this experiment called democracy is to survive, is an informed electorate. The sad fact is that our recent past has developed a culture which is neither informed, nor understands what being informed actually is. And this is painfully compounded by a media which has lost all will to be the functional social institution which could potentially inform that electorate, as it once had done.

    Boy, after writing all of that, I'm now damn depressed!
     
  8. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    I detect a hint of optimism in that sentence. Except for that, I agree with everything you wrote above. The American public is just not intellectually equipped or committed enough to the issues to elect competent rule. And, for obvious reasons (yee-haw, como estas, i'mmabe, teaching, etc.), it's becoming less so.
     
  9. citr

    citr New Member

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    There are very few national-level democrats who would qualify as even marginally left of center IMHO. Our president is hanging on to the center's right edge by his teeth.
     
  10. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    You shouldn't be depressed. You nailed the state of American politics right on the head with that post.
     
  11. Industrialsize

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    The problem with American Politics:
    An amazingly UNINFORMED electorate that does nothing to inform itself.
     
  12. lucky8

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    Perhaps, but that's more a matter of perspective
     
  13. houtx48

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    ....Good, bad or indifferent not that particularly agree with you that is what we have to work with and for some reason it has work for a couple of hundred years.
     
  14. citr

    citr New Member

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    Then provide some actual examples of leftist extremism.
     
  15. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    A couple hundred years may be a long time from the standpoint of a soap bubble, but in the span of human systems of rule (e.g., China, over 4,000 years, etc.), the American system is an experiment. Not to mention, it has only been a few decades since the dynamic changed -- when the economies of Asia began their rise.

    I think most people in this country will be quite surprised by how fast America tanks relative to the rising power of Asia and even a modicum of the living standard which our parents, grandparents knew.

    Not only is America failing, other countries are succeeding.
     
  16. Mensch1351

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    Extremely thoughtful post and responses --- thanks!!

    ...........and BTWay --- our nation truly was founded by those who could be considered "Statesmen" These men were visionaries who put their principles into practice. Our history is rife with those "leaders" who envisioned an America that would be a beacon of freedom and a model for the "welfare of the common good." Our RECENT history unfortunately has been riddled more with those who seem to stumble in the dark trying to figure out just what our nation is NOW supposed to look like as we become more multi-cultural in a pluralistic world. Short term "fixes" not long term vision!
    In the past, we've been really good at braggadocio of being "the best," but we've yet to fully realize what our place is supposed to be among the family of nations. Psychologically speaking.....sometimes I wonder if being bordered by 2 oceans hasn't allowed us to believe we really ARE the only people on the planet!

    Finally -- I fully believe that after another 20 years or so of electing people to Congress who seem more concerned about playing to the cameras and who's going to blink first so we can pound them at the polls in the next election by coming up with whatever lies we can muster. I believe the American people will by and large finally demand that our leaders actually listen to the voice of the people and the needs of our nation. Once we decide who we really are and where we want to BE as a nation, we'll do and spend whatever it takes. We are an extraordinarily resourceful people and we WILL find a way to ask only one question: Is it good for America??
     
  17. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Well, just about everything is a matter of perspective.
    That said, I don't see any equivalent on the Left of the Tea Party, for example.
     
  18. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    Wow, I haven't heard such enthusiasm since someone ran for president last.

    I think the voice of the people is saying: "I want more gravy on this chicken!" I guess we will elect short-order cooks!
     
  19. dude_007

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    Agreed. I think the Tea Party is a concrete example of the collective insanity that Eckhart Tolle speaks of in A New Earth.
     
    #19 dude_007, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  20. dude_007

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    I also feel the main problem with US politics today is the legacy of G.W. Bush and his "you are either with us or against us" policy. The right wing is uncompromising and will chip away at any policy put forth by anyone who has a different point of view than the white male heteronormative ideology that has ruled in Washington since our slave-whipping forefathers sailed from England and Europe to the New World and took this land away from the natives.
     
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