embarassing?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by trebblekicked, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #1
    to the american posters:
    the american political system. is it bad enough that you are actually emberassed to be a part of it? how much worse does it have to get?

    to the non-american posters:
    are shallowness, partisanship, special interest tie-in, and dumbing down of issues as bad where you live as they are here?
     
  2. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    To my friend who is new to our country: welcome . . . and spell check is a good thing.;)

    I'm from Chicago, too. Here in Chicago "emberassing" means setting fire to your backside.:D

    (And, yes, the political system is very embarrassing. Afterall, the guy who receives the most votes for President doesn't necessarily win here. And we call that democracy!)
     
  3. Perci Mac macrumors member

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    #3
    Re: emberassing?

    Damn, a government which generally has provided for it's people, generally looked out for the common people and has helped America become the most affluent nation in the world.
     
  4. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Re: emberassing?

    No. I'm not embarassed by the political system. I'm outraged as some of the things that occur within the political system, and with media outlets that are loathe to report on these shenninigans.

    One case that I remember hearing about (its too stupid to not be true), is how the California Assembly leadership would unplug the wall clock in order to extend various legislative deadlines, or would say the session would end, and when some of the opposing party members have left, would reconvene without them.

    As to how a person that wins the popular vote is not elected as President, I'm actually glad that the United States has the electoral college system.
     
  5. trebblekicked thread starter macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #5
    Re: Re: embarrassing?

    i don't think i expressed myself very clearly. let me try again, as i didn't mean to imply that the government was evil or unsuccessful.

    i'm embarrassed (thanks, numediaman) that smear counts for more than issues in this country. that the political process has been reduced to what you can say about your opponent in 30 seconds or less. that three to five debates is sufficient to decide which of these two middle aged white men gets to lead the most powerful country in the world. most frustrating of all, howerver, is the notion that there are two political parties of consequence in america, and depending on how you were raised, one is right about everything, and the other is wrong about everything. it all stinks.

    EDIT> finally corrected spelling
     
  6. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I'd welcome an ongoing presidential debates, one every two weeks from the time the candidates are chosen, all the way up to the election. It would be cool if it was one every two weeks, for 3 hours a piece, and each one televised, and each one at multiple parts of the country, enough of a spread that they go through each place twice.

    Put it on C-Span
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    No, I'm not at all embarrassed by our political system. Some of the people who make a living from the system are an embarrassment. We have those professional politicians who for one reason or another do things, say things or behave such that embarrassment ensues. Just look at the current crop of candidates for president. Few if any are truly representative of the mainstream of the population--if that issue is of importance.

    But any system can be abused, and most are. No government, over time, ever increased liberty and freedom for the populace--but the format and behavior of government reflects the desires of the people.

    'Rat
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #8
    Of course the political system is not embarrassing, it's infotainment.

    Though the political shenanigans should probably should be hosted by Jerry Springer in a two hour show on CSPAN, since there is so much more colorful material in US politics than in people's homes.

    Plus it would be much more fun seeing Senators parading through Jerry's zoo than trailer trash.
     
  9. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    #9
    We do not live in a democracy, we never have. We live in a democratic republic. A democracy means that every (eligible) person recieves one vote and those votes are used to decide issues at all levels (local, state, nation).

    In a democratic republic we elect people to represent us at various levels (state legislature, nationwide).

    There are two reasons this is the system.

    The first is practicality. Until recently there was no feasible way to collect everyones votes for every issue. Even now it would be quite expensive.

    The second is reasonability. It just wasn't reasonable (especially back in the day before public education) to expect all the voters to be able to be informed on all the issues, and the founding fathers were afraid of the damage that could cause. Instead the idea was to elect a person who you felt would best represent your views and that person could take the time that the many many people he represented could not.
     
  10. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Gee, thanks for the civics lesson. I'm glad you're a satisfied customer.
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Well, numediaman, when a post gives the impression that one thinks this is or should be a pure "voice of the majority" type of democracy...:)

    And, yeah, I'm satisfied as to the system. That doesn't mean one need always be satisfied with the reults of the voting within this system--but that only has to do with one's "druthers" as to who wins.

    'Rat
     
  12. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    The Founding Fathers were loathe of a pure democracy, they thought it as mob rule.

    Your earlier post with the cartoon about Ashcroft and fascism could happen as well in a pure democracy, as well as a representative democracy. What could stop that from happening is a constitutionally-limited republic, where the powers of the government are limited and delineated beforehand, as the United States is, up until the Commerce clause had been abused to the point where the federal government can control all aspects of life just because a particular raw material or finished good passed through state borders.
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #13
    My first reaction to your question was, "embarrassed, what's to be embarrassed about?" Then after giving it some thought it dawned on me that there's not a precious lot not to be embarrassed about in American politics. The turnover rate in Congress is a whopping 5% in any given election, if only because both parties use the levers of government as ATMs. Laws are written by the lobbyists for the corporations they are meant to regulate. Ordinary citizens are essentially ignored, or at best treated as a nuisance factor by our elected officials. Then, when they get tired of ignoring the bothersome public, they slip on a pair alligator shoes, and take jobs working for the people they know and appreciate best.

    What's worse is, the system becomes more broken and dysfunctional every year, and every year, fewer and fewer Americans seem to know or care. Now, that's discouraging to someone who knows this system of ours can work a great deal better. So yes, embarrassing is probably a good word -- but I'd apply it not only to the political system, but to those of my fellow citizens who'd make excuses for its current, sorry state.
     
  14. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day.

    It's really, really clichéd, but the Churchillian statement that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others is still true.

    We do need to get corporate and special interest money out of politics, but it will never happen. Money, like water, finds a hole. (I believe I am quoting the recent Supreme Court decision upholding McCain-Feingold.)

    We can't get anything meaningful done except in the rarest of instances.

    And most partisan bickering is utterly hypocritical--and this extends down to you and me. We are all convinced that anyone who agrees with us does no wrong--politically, personally, morally, etc. and anyone who does not agree with us is a degenerate son-of-a-bitch. Well that's just plain idiotic. Good people can disagree on issues even as divisive as abortion or gun control or welfare. But no one seems to get that. So we celebrate whenever the other guy is found doing something wrong (which is pretty sick, to celebrate another man's failings), and we are always convinced it's a lie whenever our man is found doing something wrong. It's pure hypocrisy and we all do it.


    But I'd still take our government over anyone else's.
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I've seen a good bit of the world. Junior year of high school in the Philippines. A tour in Korea. Two years in Paris. Lots of wandering around the areas while there. Japan, Hong Kong; most of Europe. Then extensive travel in Canada and Mexico, and Costa Rica. More recently, Germany.

    I grant I'm old, and these days am more comfortable with that which is familiar. But, warts and all, I still think that as a total package, the U.S. pretty much has the best deal going. I note that many others from around the world think the same, given the inflow of people. I've never seen anybody eager to "get the hell out of Dodge".

    Whether or not our "best deal going" will keep on going is something my son will learn more about than I will...

    'Rat
     
  16. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    "Voice of democracy" -- let's be clear, that's your quote, not mine. I never said such a thing.

    But, my God, look at the denial on this board! You're not embarrassed by our political system?

    So, no one is embarrassed by the fact that this system has allowed us to go to war without a declaration of war (as is specified in the constitution)?

    Liberals, you're not embarrassed that a juror who does not believe in the death penalty is not allowed to serve on a jury in a death penalty case, almost guaranteeing for the prosecution the outcome of the penalty phase of any trial?

    Conservatives, you're not embarrassed by a system that would allow a person who gets hot coffee, then spills it, to sue for hundreds of thousands of dollars?

    I could go on and on. The founding fathers did not believe the system they created was perfect, that is why they added the Bill of Rights, and why the Constitution has been amended over time. Were many not "embarrassed" that our political system allowed slaves? Yes, so they changed the system, or at least tried to. Were many not "embarrassed" that women were not allowed to vote? Yes, so they changed the system.

    Those who will not fight to change the system deserve the government they have.
     
  17. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

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    #17
    I would be embarrased to be in country in the EU, which allows a bunch of unelected bureaucrats from other countries decide how big a tube of toothpaste can be.
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    Just to be clear, it isn't democracy which is embarrassing, it's the way we've allowed the system to be rigged to benefit the few. The Founders might have been appropriately concerned about "mob rule," but I think even they would be shocked by how unlike mob rule -- how unresponsive to the needs of its citizens -- it's become.
     
  19. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #19
    Absolutely. Here our politicians worry about much more important topics, such as what to call french fries. ;)
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Don't forget JJ's right tit!;)
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    IJ, don't forget "rule by poll", which is a form of mob rule.

    My problem with "rigged to benefit the few" is that when a couple of hundred million people are making out pretty well, that's a pretty big "few". At least "the few" who are very walthy in this country aren't hogging the whole thing.

    Unresponsive? The wheelchair laws, OSHA, EPA, etc. may not respond to some single individual, but these certainly are in response to the needs or demands of the many. Heck, you can include AFDC, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security...

    :), 'Rat
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    The question was specifically about the political system, which indeed is rigged to benefit monied interests. As for responsiveness, all of the programs you mention are the products of another era. If you need an example of how rigged the system has become today, just take a look at how the Medicare drug benefit was carefully tailored to maximize the shift of public dollars to the drug and insurance industries. Well, if you can't find it in you to be embarrassed by the state of our political system, then I guess I'm just going to have to be embarrassed enough for both of us.

    :)
     
  23. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Hokay, IJ, I'll go along with you as you frame it in those terms. So: Name me a system where people CANNOT abuse it and change it as ours has been.

    Seems to me as long as all people of a country are free to vote for representatives to their government, somebody will figure out a way to use the system for his own benefit.

    'Rat
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    I believe you've answered your own question. All of the programs you've mentioned came about in the days before monied special interests took over Congress.
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #25
    no system is idiot-proof. a representative gov't is only as good as its constituents. and i think we all know how i feel about the idiotic, uninformed american public.
     

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