a reply to: elysiumfire
Do you sincerely believe that alliances--many formed under false pretenses or only on the grounds of common enemies--has helped keep peace in the
world? Are you really implying/stating that stance?
If so, I will just vehemently disagree with that opinion--I believe that helping others who are in need when it conforms to one's (or a country's
general) ideals is a noble thing to do, but that's not how these political alliances work, and it's easily provable that wars are higher in number and
longer in duration because so many countries get in on the action simply because of agreed-upon alliances and nothing more.
I don't see that as "lessen[ing] conflict," as you claim that it does.
I understand your point about alliances, but you're looking at it from a best-case scenario, and I'm balancing that out with the reality that having
such a worldwide tangle of alliances has done on behalf of war. I have no problem coming across as an isolationist, because honestly, we should be
much more isolationist than we are--right now we think that we should be the foreign-aid leaders and world police, both of which really cause neglect
within our own borders. How can we be expected to help aid and fix anything on a global scale when we are relatively broken ourselves?
Much like other things in life, we need to fix ourselves before attempting to aid others in such a dramatic way. Becoming more isolationist--even if
temporary--is a positive step in accomplishing that, and "isolationism" isn't always a bad word or an ill-conceived ideology.
As inconvenient as it may sometimes be, everyone who lives and participates in a society, is by that very association duty-bound to 'pay
attention' to the machinations of others seeking to reach a level of authority and control. Especially so if they want to continue to enjoy their
society into the future. From where does that duty arise?
It arises from the requirement of your own happiness, your own safety, and your own economic success, all of which you can only enjoy if those around
you share in the same equal opportunity to do so. Why equal opportunity? Simple, for cooperation. Without that cooperation, society may arise, but it
I agree with the first paragraph, but not the really the last, mainly because personal happiness, safety, and economic success are not 'requirements,'
and they're definitely not rights. What you're doing is pretending that some socialist, totally equal society is a possibility in a society filled
with individual human beings with different ideas of what happiness, safety, and economic success really is.
Take me, for example. To many people, I'm economically (fiscally) successful, as I make well more than the average American does annually. But, that's
just the view from the surface--I'm currently struggling to get out of debt so that I DO have economic success, which by my definition means not being
slave to lenders anymore, and that all of the fruits of my labors (minus those pesky taxes, of course) are mine and my family's. So, I have a nice
annual income, but I don't feel economically successful, yet. And, hell, less than a decade ago, my annual income was less than $20K/year--I took
advantage of opportunities that I had to seek out in order to better my financial situation.
I do, however, feel relatively safe (if you're talking about personal safety)--I have the right to own firearms for my own enjoyment and protection
(personal and for my family), and I own more than one, we'll say. I also have the ability to seek out self-defense and martial arts training, which I
do. Plus, we have laws that protect the my right to protect myself with deadly force, if necessary--so I feel safe. Of course, I had to seek out many
of these things on my own--the opportunities are there for everyone, though, if only they seek it out.
I have a wonderful wife (14 years so far) and two awesome children, and we have a plan for the future and we're all relatively healthy. I'm happy with
that, even if there are trivial things outside of my control that I'm unsatisfied with (we'll use arbitrary alliances and ill-conceived world views of
Americans as examples). But the point is that, I have many things in my life for which I'm thankful and that I try not to take for granted, and I have
the love and kindness of many people around me, to include friends and family. Hell, the motto to the city in which I currently live is "The
Friendship City." I know, it's cheesy, but it is what it is.
My point is that all of those things that are personal to me may differ in another person's opinion. I work with someone who seems to think that job
titles and prestige will make him happy. I have friends who make less than half of my salary, yet live debt-free and tend to have more expendable cash
after bills than I do currently--I consider them fiscal successes, even if the eyes of the government only sees their income as borderline poor.
But the binding truth in all of this is that everyone does have equal opportunities to achieve success in the areas that you listed, even if one
person's path to success has more or less speed bumps or hurdles along the way. But too many people refuse to believe that or take advantage of the
opportunities--opportunities that often need to be sought out and don't just land in people's laps.
So, you are wholly correct in asserting that communism doesn't work, because you never get equal output for equal reward from everyone (I mean,
really, communism [lower-case "c"] is what you're describing), but I do agree that people SHOULD hold up their end of the bargain for voluntarily
living within a society, but reality often dictates otherwise.
As for the candidates, you're phrasing your question as if there are only two--there are more, but the fact that they are being suppressed out of
national debates should tell you everything that you need to know concerning the current American politics. Like last election cycle, I don't see
anything that will stop me from voting third-party again this time.