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Well, it's Election Day in America tomorrow, so I'd thought I'd start a thread for this forum to comment on who they're voting for, why, and how they feel about politics in America at the moment. International members, feel free to add a different perspective if you're so inclined, I know it can be interesting to see how the rest of the world feels as well.
I'm with the Rent is 2 Damn High party. We're gonna get the governer's chair tomara!
What exactly is the Tea Party Movement?
"Taxes: Enough Already"
It's basically a movement that started out as libertarian but got co-opted by the neoconservatives and racists.
I'm kind of pissed at the whole situation. What I really want is a socially progressive but fiscally moderate to conservative candidate. The democrats' solution to everything is a lot of expensive social programs. They say they're in favor of gay rights and things like that but never do anything to show it. Then there's the republicans who preach reasonable fiscal policy. Some of them are social liberals, but the ones who are refuse to distance themselves from the Sarah Palin type anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-gay Neo-Puritan faction of the party. So I can't vote for the moderate ones without helping the crazies.
Plus you know whichever party is in power, the other will just be obstructionist to keep them from getting credit for anything positive. So either nothing happens or we get pork-loaded bills handed straight down from party leadership. It's really depressing.
So, I guess I have to just vote democrat. I hate the democrats, but I despise the republicans. Maybe if there's some good libertarian candidates I'll vote for them.
same here. Robot-Unicorn-Please-Make-Cloudy-Sky-Go-Away's still the only option for me... with carrots glued on old Teek masks (ohhh... Battle Of Endor, how even DARE you..) ... or was it Jack Johnson instead? meh, John Jackson's allegedly raped legal muslim witch taxes, thus i feel not thaaat much voting for him this time.. multiculturalism/integration is sooo WW2..
Thanks for the response guys. One more question; how do you rate Obama's first two years in office? From the point of view of an outsider looking in, it certainly seems a lot more low key than his predecessor. I'm guessing this is more to do with his focusing on internal affairs such as healthcare reform which are far less likely to make international news then say, invading the odd country or two.
Eh. I like his intentions but I don't like his results. In his campaign he played down his lack of experience, but now it's showing. He doesn't know how to get things done in politics, especially when he's fighting a reactionary obstructionist senate minority voting in lock-step. And when he has gotten things done, he's let the republicans spin it however they please.
I mean, did he really not see it coming that the republicans would automatically vote against whatever health care bill he put forward, then complain "You didn't ask our opinion"? Please.
I think the economy would still be mediocre no matter who was president. I think no president could have pulled us out of Iraq and Afghanistan without making them terrorist havens. These are problems intractable over a span of just two years. But how do you sell that logic to an American who just moved his family into a smaller house?
He should have named his credit card debt relief plan the "Save American Families Act" or something equally manipulative as "No Child Left Behind". He didn't sloganize his health care bill, so the republicans got to name it. They named it 'Obamacare'.
He needs better political strategists and he needs them now.
I agree with what a lot of BillAdama said. President Obama has faced several enormous problems and performed averagely in the face of them. He's had some successes (healthcare reform, financial reform, arguably Iraq) but he won't be popular unless the economy picks up. The worst part of his Presidency has been his detachment from the issues - he seems too cool and collected for the urgent problems he faces.
That said, the campaign the Democrats ran this year was atrocious - they had no message, no platform, they ran away from every accomplishment they'd acheived so far and failed to paint the Republicans as the obstructionist party they were or the Tea Party as extremists (which is a half-truth).
As far as I'm aware, the Republicans are going down a vile path of extreme-right politics. Some of the candidates that the Republicans put up are actually hilarious (and they got justly beaten) - Christine O'Donnell the witch, Sharron Angle, etc.
I don't think Obama's been given a fair shake though by the people. I read somewhere, I think it was on the Chicago Sun Times, that 24% of Repuclicans think Obama is the antichrist, and around 60% believe he's a socialist.
And plus when you think the alternative in 2012 is likely to be Sarah Palin, a woman who thinks dinosaurs were around 4000 years ago, I'm sure that if the Democrats get a coherent message out, they'll have another 4 years.
Oh and another thing. Republicans now have the power (I think) to completely wall Obama's proposals, now that they control the House. I think this means that in the next 2 years, there will be gridlock, as Obama can't get legislation passed. What do you guys (especially Americans) think of that? I know that the Constitution and the separation of powers is an utterly fundamental part of the American political system, but in a "crisis" mode, like this recession is turning out, perhaps you need more decisive government? I know Roosevelt in the 30s circumvented this by completely controlling Congress and appointing his own judges, but in the UK, the Prime Minister is drawn from the mmajority party in the House of Commons, meaning that he has a strong majority in the legislature and can effectively deal with the economy. In the USA I think this will be more difficult.
Is there a case to be made for reform of the American political structure? I mean the fact that one party needs to esentially control both houses in order for their president to affect any real change is always going to pose a problem. These midterm elections are always going to be used by voters to voice their approval or, far more likely, disapproval with their president. You now have a weakened president in a time when strong leadership is needed.
Here's the thing. It's all well and good to think it should be easier to get things done in the government when your side is in charge. Imagine what Bush could have done if the democrats didn't have the power to block him.
Instead of radically changing the system and strengthening the executive branch, we need a more responsible, less sensationalist media, and we need to do something about the system where the party can withhold campaign financing if the candidate doesn't vote the way they like.
Why did Obama win in 2008? He made an emotional case to be elected. Now he's trying to make a rational case, and the republicans are winning by making emotional cases. Worse, his marketing amounts right now to bitching about the republicans and claiming that if it weren't for his policies, we'd have another Great Depression. Even if it's true it's not at all convincing. The republicans are winning the marketing war because Obama thinks he shouldn't have to.
I think it's up to moderates of both parties to vote in the republican primary in 2012. We need to get more Cindy McCains, Michael Bloombergs and Arnold Schwarzennegers in republican positions, and fewer Sarah Palins.
As for the economy, just because the democrats are wrong doesn't mean the republicans are right. The republicans want a lassez-faire(sp?) economy. The republicans' idea is 'tax the middle class more, the rich less, and let big banks do whatever they want without accountability'. Spending didn't go down during Bush's reign. It went up. It's pure delusion to think anything would change if a different republican were in charge.
I will not vote Democrat or Republican because I would not be voting for a candidate I'd be voting for a cog of a machine. It's too bad... our best and brightest politicians are Democrat and Republicans and when they run they're full of great ideas. But, once they're in office they're a pawn. I can't get behind that and it makes me frustrated that people aren't willing to give other parties a chance.
The thing I really don't get is how people can flip flop between the two parties. It makes no sense to me how somebody can carefully research candidates every election, get the same result each time and continue to vote Democrat or Republican depending on who the candidates are. The candidates don't matter, and I don't get how people are so blind to that.
Yeah, instant runoff is where it's at, but it's not going to happen as long as two parties control the country. There are so many intelligent Americans that still think that these two parties can actually change things. They can't because it's all about wins and losses and as long as it's about that everybody loses. I hate that election nights are like the Super Bowl, it shouldn't be that way. This isn't a game!