US Politics for a Dummy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by costabunny, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #1
    Ok, before I go here I know I could google this, but then I would be at the mercy of random websites and such. I want to know from my fellow Mac Rumors peeps.

    Can some one explain in nice simple terms what the Republicans and Democrats will do to the US and the World if they should be elected in November?

    I am not a politics fan but I have a curiosity and want somone to just tell me the good bad and ugly of each in easy bullet points.

    Help a gal out please?

    :confused:
     
  2. Queso macrumors G4

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    #2
    In a nutshell...

    The Republicans will use the US's military power to impose their view of good and evil on the world, whilst bankrupting the country by ensuring not enough tax revenues are generated to fund their crusades. They will also stuff the US Supreme Court with enough conservatives to make sure abortion is banned, equality for LGBTs is banned, and the supposed separation between Church and State is narrowed as much as possible. Despite having been in power since 2000 they will blame anything that goes wrong on "liberals".

    How will this affect us? Well, seeing as they obviously have something important over the British Government, expect our forces to be dragged into whatever fool's errand President McCain determines to be Satan's latest hidey-hole.

    The Democrats meanwhile will do what Democrats are really good at. Stuffing their own nests and talking a lot. However, at least there's a chance with them that the US economy will get back on track and they aren't going to go invading everyone who "looks a bit shifty" under false premises in the meantime. Also if they stuff the US Supreme Court with liberal judges abortion will stay legal, and the rights of individuals who aren't white, straight, male and rich will actually progress over the coming decade.

    How will this affect us? We might actually get a chance to repair some of the damage to our own societies the last eight years have caused.
     
  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  4. costabunny thread starter macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #4
    So I am guessing Democrats = Good and Reublicans = Bad

    ok...
     
  5. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    I think probably Democrats = Bad and Republicans = Much Worse, actually.
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #6
    This post should be a sticky. Nice one Queso :).
     
  7. costabunny thread starter macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #7
    Yes inded I fogot the golden rules of free voting in elections: "Doesn't matter who you vote for: the government always gets in!"
     
  8. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #8
    Why? So everyone can read his opinion on what politics mean in the U.S.?

    A sticky might be a good idea, but let's have actual definitions, not an opinion.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    The language of politics has been so debased that definitions are hard to come by.
     
  10. costabunny thread starter macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #10
    Yep and If I wanted definitions I could find many (that probably do not agree with each other) on the net. I want opinions from people that have seen and understand the politics involved :)
     
  11. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #11
    If the Republican wins, Democrats think we'll have an old man with a hair-trigger temper hell-bent on using America's nuclear arsenal in order to prove he's well-endowed. If he dies, they we'll get the crazy lady who wants to burn books, outlaw abortion and hunt teh gheys like she hunts wolves.

    If the Democrat wins, Republicans are afraid that taxes will increase to 100% of their income, abortion and homosexuality will become mandatory, terrorists will move into the White House, and we will all become Black.
     
  12. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Oh boy, this thread is gonna spiral off into pitched battle territory, reeeeal fast :rolleyes: (and undersatandably so :)) I can practically hear the sharpening knives *screesh, scrreeesh*:p

    anyway, OP you were right, you could definitely google it, and probably would be better off doing that. See, the thing is there is no quick fix solution for this stuff; you won't find anyone to give you a run down of things from both sides of the debate, becasue now more than ever in the ten or so years I've been paying attention to American politics, people seem very divided, in a way I never remember them being (that doesn't mean it didn't happen before, just not that I could directly witness. I think it may have been similar when Clinton was elected? Someone else will probably be able to tell you that, but I was too young to know or care at the time :p). So there really is no substitue for reading up and forming your own opinion of things by reading up on what all sides have to say.

    All you need to do to avoid the dodgy websites (or other sources for that matter) is be critical of what you read and not take everything people tell you at face value. Always think about where they come from politically, or in other words, listen for the sound of the axe grinding :) (because believe me, more people are grinding one than are not). Check statistics in particular; they are always used to make a powerful point since they sound like very concrete facts, but they are sadly all too often distorted.

    A classic example is the famous One-in-four that was (still is?) a rallying cry for rape and sexual violence against women advocates; we were told that one in four women of college age (ie the young adult category between the ages of 18 and 25, give or take) have been victims of rape or attempted rape. Of course, when you hear that, you become terrified because that is absolutely huge, but when you look at things more carefully, you realize that there are some pretty serious issues with how this number was arrived at, from the design of the research right on down to the way the results of it were disseminated to the general public. All of which contributes to making it look like women are being assaulted left right and center in a completely panic-worthy manner, and panic is not usually an ally when you're trying to deal with any social problem or crime. So for statistics, remember Benjamin Disraeli, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain for a large part of Queen Victoria's reign: he said there are 'three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics' :D

    Another thing to pay attention to is what they call logical fallacies. A favorite in politics (all politics, not just the American variety ;)) is the so-called ad hominem argument which essentially is saying that a position someone is advancing is wrong not because there is no evidence to support it, or even more there is evidence against it, but because of who they are; because you find their character objectionable. Another is the mistake of thinking that correlation implies causation (which also goes by the colorful latin name of Cum hoc ergo propter hoc ;)): for example, thinking that because it seems like out of all the people who committed suicide in the last five years, many were divorced, that the divorce was the cause of the suicide; it may be, but you'd need more evidence to figure it out :) This site is a nice primer on logical fallacies, and is illustrated using both made up examples and famous real-world examples of logical fallacies.

    Finally, beware of personal stories (see the latest difficulties with the famous Joe The Plumber which are said to be causing some worry to the Obama camp). They are often very much the tug-at-your-heart-strings type of thing, but their emotional potential may, or may not, be representative of the situation they say it represents.

    To sum up, approach everything with a healthy dose of benevolent cynicism, and you'll do fine. You're already part of the way there really, because you're not just interested in finding out more, but you know it isn't just a case of reading the first hit off of google.

    so, it's sunday afternoon, unless you work in a bar or somewhere chances are you're off work, grab a drink and wade in! A few afternoons of intense puttering online will clear up a lot of thing, and then it's just a matter of keeping up with the latest developments.

    Okay, I hope this was of some help, and Good luck! :)

    rois.
     
  13. costabunny thread starter macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #13
    yes thanks guys - your insights have been helpful. I have watched the debates today and its intersting stuff. As usual I read between the lies <lines> :)

    am I wrong in seeing there is only Rep or Dem in the US (choice of two?) - maybe I am missing something?
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    There is a Libertarian Party, and a Green Party too, I believe, but they have yet to make any headway nationally.
     
  15. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #15
    In addition to the Libertarian and Green Party candidates that Skunk mentioned, there are actually quite a number of parties running candidates. Most of them will little influence on the race and many will be on the ballot in only a limited number of states. They range from several that present themselves as socialist parties to the remains of the Prohibition party that helped create a constitutional ban on alcohol back in last century.

    List of Candidates
     
  16. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #16
    The right, calling themselves Republicans or Conservatives (though actually neoconservatives, but that's a whole nother thing), like to talk a good game about values and low taxes. But in truth, their lower taxes seem to go towards people in higher income brackets who don't need it. And worse, they don't reduce spending, often even increasing it and the government they claim to despise so much, causing higher and higher deficits. Also helping their claim that government doesn't work, which they go out of their ways to prove. A lot of that money seeming to go to friends and contributors and cronies to profiteer, like with Halliburton and Blackwater. But people keep falling for it because even though the last guy was a disaster who did the exact opposite of what he promised, the next guy will be the real thing even though he's proposing exactly the same, maybe even worse. Plus they usually talk about God, and patriotism, and supporting the troops (even though they actually seem to vote against them), and apple pie, and Mom, and more about Jesus. Religion is a big thing to them, they claim, even if they do the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. Unless Jesus was all about hating gays, abortion, immigrants, Arabs, the poor, and liberals in general. Gets the base all fired up, who do seem to be using religion to hate more than actually being religious, but tell them that. Plus they impose ridiculous laws that do nothing but hurt us and/or give them power that completely goes against everything America is supposed to stand for, but they talk about the enemy (whoever it may be) that's out to get us, so they're needed to protect you and make you safe and warm and fuzzy, especially with their cute but ironic names, like the Patriot Act, or No Child Left Behind, or the Clean Water and Air acts, that are all anything but. And the moderates go along with it because they're promised tax cuts and other stuff that sound good even though things go straight to Hell otherwise, and mostly because of what they think the other guys stand for, even if it's patently untrue. Plus more Jesus and war. America is teh awesome and bestest!!!

    The other side, the Democrats, who call themselves Progressives because the term "liberal" has negative connotations even though they're barely center and even right in some cases, are a little less horrible sometimes.
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    If that includes the stereotypical amazing abilities in sports, freestyle rapping skillz, dance moves, and a Huge Wang™, I'm in!
     
  18. MacbookSwitcher macrumors 6502

    MacbookSwitcher

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    #18
    Democrats believe in enlarging and increasing the scope of the federal government, by raising taxes to fund all kind of programs from government-run health care to payments to people with lower income. Democrats fundamentally believe it is the government's responsibility to redistribute wealth from "the rich" to "the poor".

    Republicans believe in limited government and the ability of people to be responsible for their own well-being without the need for government programs to take care of them. Republicans fundamentally believe it is people's responsibility, through families, communities, and faith, to care for society, not the government. Republicans believe in staying out of other countries affairs.

    George W. Bush has sacrificed many traditional Republican positions for the sake of the war in Iraq and international intervention, thus making him a neocon, a new breed of politician which has never before had this much power in America, and different than traditional Republicans. For example, Bush has dramatically increased the size and scope of the federal government, intervened in the affairs of other nations aggressively, and ignored important domestic issues for the sake of the previous two items.

    John McCain is also a neocon in the tradition of George W. Bush.

    This means true Republicans don't have a good candidate to vote for in this election. But I digress..

    Is that complicated enough for you? :)
     
  19. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #19
    You're correct, basically.

    In 2004, the democrats and republicans captured over 99% of the popular vote, leaving less than one percent for all minor political parties combined (there are about five altogether). The third largest party received just about 1/3 of one percent of the popular vote.
     

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