Discussion of the Republican Party

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posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:07 AM
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This thread is primarily to carry on a discussion which ConspiracyTheorist and I got into as a tangent to another thread, but it's obviously open to anyone.

I'm a former Republican, I'm still mostly a conservative, and my role here will probably be to field questions or criticisms about the republican party in as objective a manner as can be hoped for. I'm not going to play softball, but I'm not going to walk a party line either.


So, to start the show, I'm bringing in quotes from the last post of the thread where this discussion started:


Also by the way the republicans back in the 1700's were actually what the Democrats are now, and the present day republicans formed a new party. but me and my friend always fight about if it was actually the fedaralists are the Republicans now.


This isn't 100% accurate, although it's not completely false either.

The most noteable feature of the historical political landscape in America is the presence of a party of small government which enjoys the support of the typical working man. For a very large part of our history, this was the Democratic-Republican Party, and it's direct descendant, the Democratic Party.

In the early days this party was usually challenged by a party of big government which believed the government should intervene on behalf of business to develop the American Economy. These were the Federalists, who crumbled because the farm vote was too strong, and because of their disloyalty during the war of 1812. After the Federalists fell, there was a short time when everyone was basically a Democratic-Republican, until Henry Clay, most famous of course for his involvement with the national banking system, ticked off Andrew Jackson.

At this point, Jackson picked up the common men out of the Democratic-Republican Party and the modern Democratic party was born. What was left over became the "National Republican" party, around which many former federalists rallied, although this was not exactly the same party and did not exactly have the same aims. That party died quickly.

This is where it gets interesting. The landscape changed during Jackson's administration. The party of the people was no longer the party of small government, but the party of big government. The Whigs arose to challenge this. The whigs are probably the closest ancestors to the modern Republican party. They were joined by former "national republicans" representing business interests, but there was a strong state's rights aspect to them.

This provides the basis for the division of the common people between the parties and what would have been the beginning of the end for ages of political dominance, if other factors had not intervened. All of a sudden, which party was the party of the common man depended on whether or not you needed the federal governments help. The common men were no longer farmers grouped under a party that wanted the federal government to stay out of their business. They were becoming more diverse, and some of them needed a big government either to provide them with certain things or to protect them from business interests.

The Whigs split in 1854 when the Northern Whigs decided they couldn't stand by and tollerate slavery anymore. This was the birth of the Republican party. Now another interesting shift occurs. The hot issues have changed, so now the Republicans are the party of big government all of a sudden. They are the ones who want to step in and protect people from economic interests- especially where slavery is concerned.

There was yet another shift early in the 20th century. The issues became economic again and the Democrats again became the party of big government, intervening to create and improve jobs. There you've got the New Deal.

Now we are in the midst of a shift- these things seem to happen every 60 years, like clockwork. The issue has become national security, and Republicans are fast becoming the party of big government again.

So the story of American partisan history, in a nutshell, is that you're going to have a hot issue that one party wants to leave alone and the other party wants the government to intervene in. This will shift back and forth. At the same time you will have a party of big business and a party of the people. This will very rarely change, although second options will open up here and there, either in the form of 3rd parties or in the form of each major party having something to offer for a different sector of the common people.

Our modern Republican party has been conservative like the Democratic-Republicans, but are becoming liberal like the federalists again. They, and their political ancestors, are the party of big business, like the Federalists, although in modern times the Democrats have certanly gotten their fingers into that pie as well, if perhaps not to quite the same extent. Modern Republicans have been less like the party of Lincoln in recent years, but they are shifting back towards that general ideology, although it remains to be seen if they will apply that ideology to issues relevant to minorities.

So, now that we're all thoroughly confused, myself included, let's get on with it.



Okay seemingly 'small' buisnesses ( like IBM? Is that really tha small? LOL) Have only one owner but have many employees. Now, why do the employees support their own bosses poltical views? Cause they want to keep their boss in business? I dunno just a thought.


I'm not exactly sure I see your point. This comes from our earlier discussion of whether or not conservatives work for a living if I'm not mistaken. I have put forward the case that the management of large and small businesses alike invest a great deal of effort and a lot of risk into building these companies and providing jobs for the economy.

I did not assert that the employees feel the same way about politics that the boss does. Often enough they do not in fact. It bears mentioning however that what is good for the boss, so long as it isn't at the expense of the employee, can also be good for the employee, so yes, you will often find working people on the economically conservative side, although other considerations may override this stance. They want their boss to be doing as much business as possible, because if the demand for widgets is high, they guys who make widgets are gonna get plenty of overtime pay, and I'm sure they wont mind if their boss makes money on that deal too, because as long as the boss is still rich, he doesn't have to start laying people off. So I see where what it says I guess, I just don't understand what the question is.


No why do the Republican party hate doctors? seriously. why? Terminix hates them because? Also why do they not like education? He (Terminix) took 2 million dollars from schools and didn't pay it back. Why was he asking the school for money in the first place? I don't know. Isn't he a katrillionaire.


Well the terminator hates them because they hated him first. They hated him first because he inherited one of the worst managed budgets in the United States and trimming it down just was going to mean stepping on some toes. I think he stepped on the wrong people's toes. The Governor isn't going after illegal immigration, he's trying to bring low paying service jobs into California, and he's gutting our education and healthcare systems. It's almost as if he's trying to build a little enclave of Mexico here. He ought to be sticking it to the illegals, sticking it to the luxury industries (let's face it, this is the best place in the world to play a round of golf in December, and Bob Hope's friends aren't going to bat an eye if we ask for a little more dough.), and to a lesser extent he should be going after the retail giants. He needs to be inviting in the technical, higher paying jobs, increasing hospital staffing, increasing education facilities, and trying to upgrade the average income here in California if he wants to fix this budget in the long term. We need to carve the cost of our state's future out of those industries that we don't particularly want here and cut the funding from things that are hurting us, not targeting the industries and that have a future here and cutting the funds from stuff that helps us.

Republicans in general don't hate doctors. On the contrary they are absolutely in love with the corporate fatcats in the medical industry- drug providers especially. They're no so thrilled about anybody who believes that quality of life is more important than preserving an anachronistic lassiez faire capitalist system, but they don't have a problem with doctors in and of themselves. And in the interest of fairness, they mean well. They honestly believe that the medical field can not survive except under the control of the invisible hand, and as many people as may suffer from high costs, they believe far more will suffer if we cripple the industry with harmful government controls.

Then why do Republicans hate education? For the same reason that Democrats do: Educated people ask too many questions and want too much change. It doesn't take much of an education to sell a Big Mac, and they've underestimated the average American- they really think that's all that some of us are good for- I'm tlaking about both parties here.
On top of that, educating people is expensive, especially when the funds always seem to be squandered on aesthetics that ingrateful children destroy within 3 years. Politicians aren't interested in rasing peoples taxes for something that seems to be such a lost cause, and they're too lazy to solve the problem. We need education reform before we can even begin the debate as to where education funding ought to be set, but neither party has a sound strategy for education reform.




posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 07:27 PM
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For starters I'd get rid of the Federal Department of Education. It's unconstitutional. The government should stay out of our children's education.

Kids nowadays are being dumbed down. I plan on homeschooling my child.

Check out this eight grade exam from 1895 and compare it to what eighth-graders know today.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 10:50 PM
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Okay if what you mentioned earlier about Democrats wanting to let illegal immigrants in easier and you say schwarz...terminator wants to create a luxury place for them, why isn't he a Democrat? I don't really believe that the Democrats want to do this considering in a debate kerry and bush had, kerry wanted more security but bush refused to talk about it, and instead moved on to social secruity. So they never got around to border control in ANY state even though kerry wanted to talk about. Considering what your saying about the Democrats opening up the border more, kerry would of surely lost. So why did he mention it then?



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 10:59 PM
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Okay, they* don't necessarily hate doctors but they keep making restrictions on them. Making them have to fill more paperwork out is the one that is the worst. My dad is a doctor and he has a lot already. You know the paperwork you see in movies as like a joke thats usually 2 or 3 feet high? That would be his. Already having to do this for each patient is enough, but adding more is just suicide. They don't just make it hard on the doctors, they make it hard on the people to get perscriptions.

You have to get each prescription approved by the govt. (edit)

It seems as if no one is controlling them but really there is some control. They don't want to be controlled by the govt cause again, that means restrictions, restrictions, restrictions. Though there is a lack of security even my dad thinks so, but you can't have two things at once.**


* they meaning republicans
** meaning you can't have security and make it easier for people at once.

[edit on 10/26/2005 by Conspiracy Theorist06]



posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 12:02 AM
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Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
Okay if what you mentioned earlier about Democrats wanting to let illegal immigrants in easier and you say schwarz...terminator wants to create a luxury place for them, why isn't he a Democrat?


You misunderstand. The luxury economy is not FOR the Mexicans. It's for rich old white people. Republicans just want Mexicans to work there for crap wages.
Democrats on the other hand don't necessarily want the immigrants working at all. All they care about is making sure that these people get access to every single public institution that a working citizen does, regardless of their legal status or their contribution to the economy. It also bears mentioning that the only way these people can work, unless their employers are evading taxes and labor laws by paying under the table, is to commit identity theft.

The parties have no real quarrel over illegal immigration. Neither one of them is stopping it or wants it stopped. One wants them here to work dirt cheap, which is horrible for working citizens but great for corporate fat cats, and the other party just wants to play it as a race card for election years (and don't bother saying that they can't vote- the democrats took care of that with the motor voter law. I can get absentee ballots for the three stooges if i want, and i know that such fraud is occuring because when I did phone surveys before the Utah gubernatorial election I kept getting people on my list who would have been 90-110 years old, and none of the phone numbers were valid- and that was easily 1 or 2% of the names on my list.


I don't really believe that the Democrats want to do this considering in a debate kerry and bush had, kerry wanted more security but bush refused to talk about it, and instead moved on to social secruity. Considering what your saying about the Democrats opening up the border more, kerry would of surely lost. So why did he mention it then?


If Kerry wanting to talk about border security meant that Kerry wasn't going to screw us on it, shouldn't that mean that Bush wanting to talk about Social Security meant that he wasn't going to screw us on that? Kerry wanted to talk about it because it was a good card to play against the Republican base- it would have been the pot calling the kettle black, but it was still a good idea. That's why Kerry wanted to talk about it.



posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 02:04 AM
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You mentioned ealier on another post that the Democrats want to take away the second amendment.

Now the Demorcrats or Republicans will never take away an amendment, both of them will shrink different ones down to almost nothing. But the part that Democrats attack (2nd amendment) is a little bit for the general safety.

How many people go hunting with an automatic pistol? I know absolutely none. People do NOT need automatic pistols or automatic weapons for hunting. I think that they should keep shotguns and rifles, but you do not need an AK-47 to go hunting or to protect yourself. Its just unecessary. The only hunting you do with automatic weapons is manhunting. Save the MP5s and P90s for Xbox. lol

Well Bush doesn't violate the 1st amendment he talks about it. (what I'm reffering to is the freedom of worship) He almost violates the 4th amendment because he makes some of these big buisnesses 'unsueable'.

The Eighth amendment is always violated (not by bush) because they set the bail on some of these KIDS at 1 million dollars. It says that you don't need the bail to be excessive if i'm not mistaken.

Some of these big buisnesses aren't that great, infact the UN did a search and some of them were gving money to saddam hussein.

Also why would I want to pay taxes to support big buisnesses I mean at least when a Democrat is in office, you know where its going. Where does your money actually go? Big buisness? Govt base? Osama?



posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 07:01 AM
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I am very late to this thread. It appears everyone is off-line, but it's not the Democrats that want to open the boarder. Having a lot of very cheap labor benefits those who own the businesses. (Republicans) This in turn forces the laborer to accept a lower wage or not work. There is, historically, a great deal of opposition to immigration from the working class.(Democrats)
The Republicans starting with Reagan have been trying to target the laboring class. He deregulated the airlines industry and detroyed the air traffic controllers union. Under Bush II they are making the bankruptcy law must more punative and trying to cap all malpractice cases and now they want to absolve all drug companies of any liability with new vaccines they develop. And we are going to need them because of the Avian Flu the Spanish flu they dug up and all the other Anthrax, smallpox that they have been experimenting with. (check out Robert Preston's books) It may be necessary to reduce the population when the oil runs out. There are only so many resources and they are for the wealthy.



posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
You mentioned ealier on another post that the Democrats want to take away the second amendment.

Now the Demorcrats or Republicans will never take away an amendment, both of them will shrink different ones down to almost nothing.


That's exactly right. I didn't say they were trying to take it away. I said "They attack the second amendment and have waged all out war on the tenth". They don't have to take it away because they make laws and appoint judges that simply ignore it as if it wasn't there.


But the part that Democrats attack (2nd amendment) is a little bit for the general safety.


I have no problem admitting that a large portion of the Democrat agenda as far as guncontrol is concerned is public safety. I'm not upset with them for advocating public safety. I am upset that they haven't advocated public safety in the appropriate way. I am mad at the Republicans for the same reason, because they haven't done it either.

The correct way to address gun control is to target illegal guns. The second amendment, disregarding for a moment the controversy over the "well regulated militia" clause, says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It does not, however, forbid measures which do not infringe on those two rights. For example, registration does not infringe, nor do laws restricting illegal use of weapons. I happen to walk a rather fine line in this regard, because I believe that bearing a weapon with the intent to commit a crime can be restricted, not on the grounds that you are breaing a weapon, but on the grounds that you are preparing to commit a violent crime.

This means that what they ought to be doing, which they refuse to do because of the obvious claims of racism that would result, is that they need to stop trying to restrict the guns and start catching the people who carry them. They need to appropriate the funds to equip police with metal detecting devices, train them in how to establish reasonable suspicion and conduct a legal frisk, etc. Then they need to have the police make a concerted effort in dangerous neighborhoods, especially targeting known gang members, to catch these people carrying stolen or unregistered weapons with the intent to commit a violent crime (the language of our gun laws must be carefully crafted so that it is not the bearing of an arm itself which is being punished but the bearing of an arm in such a way as that legal uses such as practice, sport, peaceful protest, etc are clearly out of the question and there is little doubt that violent use is the intent).

If we start catching and arresting the gang members before they shoot people, require weapons to be stored responsibly in the home by legal owners (ie: locked in an immobile stand or case), and intercept the weapons coming into this country, and prosecute an aggressive campaign against the criminal organizations which are bringing them in, we won't have a problem.
People seem to have this crazy notion that the mob is gone just because there isn't an Al Capone in the paper all the time, and no Elliot Ness screaming about it at the top of his lungs. AK-47s are coming into this country- I could have one in just a couple days for a few hundred bucks. All you've gotta do is talk to a couple of drug users and find out where the stuff is coming from in your town, go to him, do some business, and if you can get his trust he'll be able to get you a weapon too. How do I know? Let's just say I knew more than my fair share of drug addicts when I lived in a certain slum outside of Palm Springs. Now do you really think that some two bit speed cook or teenager selling dime bags is bringing E and AK's into this country, or does it make more since that we have an organized crime problem which is facilitating the gang violence in this country?

These parties need to attack the problem at its root and leave my rifle alone. Do you think that the friendly neighborhood crackhead is really going to be disarmed by this law? Or is it just going to be the good people whose homes said crackhead breaks into for drug money that will be disarmed?

"But Vagabond, the AKs are only a small part of the problem. Handguns stolen from legal owners are a bigger problem, or even legally bought handguns".
Not a bad response, but that doesn't mean handguns can't be illegal imported, it just means they aren't currently because they are more economical to get domestically. If you outlaw guns in this country, the criminals will buy imported handguns and things are going to get worse, because they'll have an assurance that none of their victims are equipped to defend themselves.



How many people go hunting with an automatic pistol? I know absolutely none. People do NOT need automatic pistols or automatic weapons for hunting. I think that they should keep shotguns and rifles, but you do not need an AK-47 to go hunting or to protect yourself.


The 2nd Amendment doesn't say "A well regulated hunting season..." it says "A well regulated MILITIA...". There is ample room for dispute over whether or not the citizen must belong to a militia, or whether he is allowed to have a gun in the event that he should wish to join one. I contend that since our founding fathers had just fought a war against unjust government using their privately owned weapons, and not all of them had belonged to militias at the time of owning them, that the original intent is clearly that any citizen should be able to own a weapon so that militias may be raised in times of crisis.
I believe that this includes military grade weapons. I believe that the storage and intent of use can be regulated, but not the keeping and bearing of them. I believe that I should be allowed to get a howitzer and shells for it if I can afford it. I believe the government has the right to require that it be registered and stored in a secure armory, even perhaps one not directly under my control, but if I have a valid reason for taking it out of the armory and using it, they can't stop me. Of course that valid reason would basically be limited to practice, which means that unless I owned a properly secured artillery range that I could never get it out unless we were invaded.
Like I said, they can't restrict the keeping and bearing of arms, they restrict use and enforce those laws before the fact based upon likely intent, and they can require registration and safe storage.
What about nukes- good question right? Gun control advocates love to ask that question. If the nuke was just a really big explosive, I'd have a right to it, although i probably wouldn't have a right to access the firing controls unless we were under threat and my target had been cleared (special considerations are granted to anything on the scale of a nuke obviously because the militia may not interfere with regular military operations and certainly can not do something like that which will hit federal troops too).
The catch is that a nuke creates a public safety hazard by its very use, so I'd have to obtain certain permits, which would be very unlikely to be granted. Furthermore the US acknowledges treaties which restrict legitimate ownership of nuclear weapons to Security Council permanent members. This means that my weapon would have to remain under federal control, even though since it was privately funded and maintained it would technically be a militia weapon.



Well Bush doesn't violate the 1st amendment he talks about it. (what I'm reffering to is the freedom of worship) He almost violates the 4th amendment because he makes some of these big buisnesses 'unsueable'.


I don't dispute that Republicans have operated a government which exceeds its constitutional authority just as the Democrats do, nor that they have interfered with citizen's access to the judicial system, and god knows what else. My goal is not to defend so much as to rebuff anything that is purely slander and of course to point out the opposite side as a matter of fairness.


Also why would I want to pay taxes to support big buisnesses I mean at least when a Democrat is in office, you know where its going. Where does your money actually go? Big buisness? Govt base? Osama?


Do you claim that the government does not award contracts to major businesses, often sweetheart deals to old friends, except when Republicans are in office? I think I have one off the top of my head, but I hate it when I get things wrong so i'll look it up this evening and post a couple of specific examples.

On top of the handouts to business, which exist either way, I don't feel any better about being stolen from to give to people who refuse to work. I don't want my money spend on teaching inner city single mothers yoga- I want it spent on my own college tuition, car insurance, gasoline, meals, textbooks, and the various other vital expenses which I have to contend with that would be almost no challenge to me if the government wasn't taking between 22 and 35% of my income depending on my wages (that's everything that California and the Feds combined have taken out at various wage rates I have worked for)



posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 03:37 AM
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I'm sorry for this late late post but I take a brake on the weekends.

Okay so as for the invisible hand thing you mentioned earlier about doctors, well if anyone thinks that they are being watched by no one why don't you check out IBM. My friends dad works there and they are playing Xbox Live all day. Its a great game but hello, I thought it was supposed to be Ideal buisness management not Ideal Time Wastage.

I also think that the 10th amendment is just there but it has almost no point. Terminator is holding this special election, but everybody is gonna say no anyway and if more than 1 of those props gets chosen its GOT TO BE a conspiracy. Why would he make a Special Election when his approval ratings are down? Got to be something up his sleeve (besides steroids).

How are the Democrats attacking the 10th amendment.

One more really randome thing:

Whats tje difference between the following

Democrats/Liberals

Republicans/Conservatives



posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 06:10 AM
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I've quoted you in an order different from the way you posted it, so that I can address your points in a way that makes more since. I do not believe that changing the order misrepresents your point, but if you feel that it does please inform me and we can edit it before the edit window is over.


Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
Why would he make a Special Election when his approval ratings are down? Got to be something up his sleeve (besides steroids).


It's actually a pretty shrewd political move. The fact that fewer people don't see what's going on really speaks poorly for the media. Any first-year political science major worth his salt (including me) can explain it.

Election turnout is very high in presidential years, and the "sheep factor" is big; People turn out to vote for the presidential candidate and are likely to vote a straight ticket on the issues they don't understand. These elections are basically popularity contests between the parties.

Election turnout is lower in non-presidential even numbered years- voters tend to be better informed and more partisan. The "sheep factor" is significantly reduced. If you're not politically informed enough to know who your congressman is, odds are you won't vote in these years. I believe statistics would show (i'll check on this later) that Republicans do much better in off-year elections.

The very lowest election turnout you'll ever see is on odd-year elections. Normally these elections are only for local offices- federal offices aren't elected in odd years, and neither are most state offices. People who show up for local elections tend to be home owners with families, and statistically the more money you make, the more likely you are to be a Republican. This means that if the Republicans want to get something done in a heavily Democratic state, they need a special election in an odd-numbered year, so that only the most informed and politically active Democrats will show up to oppose them. The 18-25 year old vote will be virtually non existant this year. The Latino vote will be much smaller than usual. The poor vote will be smaller than usual. If the Democrats want to win they have to mobilize the unions, the feminists, and the minorities.

The minorities aren't going to show up because there's nothing in this election really about them. The democrats should have put up a non-controversial pro-latino measure; like an anti-minutemen initiative of some kind.

The feminists might show up to vote on prop-73 (parental notification of minor's abortions) but I don't think they'll come in great enough numbers to offset the conservative christian vote.

The unions will show up to vote on prop 75, but that will be an interesting one because public servants will probably vote against it, but tradesmen, especially in the construction industry, will be voting for it mostly.

So what's going on isn't that the Republicans are planning voter fraud- mainly because I think that if they have a plan to do that, they won't spring it until the governor's race in 2006- if there are complaints this year, security will go up in 2006 and they'll lose the state again. What Arnie's got up his sleeve is that his strategists have told him that this is the only way that voter turnout in California might possibly favor Republicans, and that if it works, prop 77 will pass, allowing judges to takeover the gerrymandering process which the Democratic legislature has controlled previously, putting California back in play politically and making the Republican Party owe Arnold a BIG favor down the road.


Terminator is holding this special election, but everybody is gonna say no anyway and if more than 1 of those props gets chosen its GOT TO BE a conspiracy.


I disagree. I do happen to think that this election is going to be an unmitigated disaster for Schwartz-wartz if the Democrats show up to vote, but I'm not convinced that the Democrats will show up. Considering turnout, I think 73 will probably pass, 75 has a 50/50 chance, 77 I'm not nearly as sure about, but I wouldn't call it impossible, and 78 will probably pass too.



I also think that the 10th amendment is just there but it has almost no point.

How are the Democrats attacking the 10th amendment.


The tenth amendment is definately not "just there". The 10th was supposed to be our failsafe against usurpation and tyranny; it ensures that our rights are never restricted to just what the constitution specifies, and that the government does not just assume powers it has not been lawfully granted.
Every federal law that does not fall within the scope of the powers listed in Article 1, Section 8 is a violation of the 10th Amendment; big government, in general, is usually unconstitutional. Both parties are major offenders in this respect. For details see here: Fear and Partisanship: Stealing Your Liberty to Make You Vote


One more really randome thing:
Whats tje difference between the following
Democrats/Liberals
Republicans/Conservatives


You mean the difference between a Republican and Democrat, or do you mean the difference between a Republican and a Conservative?

The difference between a liberal and a conservative depends on which what set of issues you're talking about. Fiscally speaking, a liberal is somebody who reads Karl Marx, and a conservative is somebody who understands Karl Marx. Socially speaking, conservatives either don't want changes or want to change things in slow, methodical ways which have the lowest tendency to "rock the boat" while liberals want something done, want it done right now, and "let the chips fall where they may". Foreign policy wise, Republicans go around looking for a fight, but sometimes it's not easy to actually drag the country into one. Democrats on the other hand creep around trying to avoid fights, yet somehow always manage to stumble into them bass-ackwards anyway. These of course are hasty generalizations. Some conservatives are actually so conservative that they could be considered radicals. Some liberals are very moderate. You can be liberal in one area and conservative in another. My characterization of the two sides is somewhat biased, and I acknowledge that it is but a small sample of a much broader picture- as almost everyone's point of view on such a broad subject is.

The Difference between a Republican politician and a Democrat politician is virtually nihl. They come from different places geograhically, made their money in different industries, and support different ways of doing things. But they went to the same schools, seek the same results, break the same laws, and they both tend to flatulate from their mouths, although this is commonly mistaken for campaign speeches.

The difference between a Republican voter and a Democrat voter is about 3 shades of skin color, 15% body fat composition, and $30,000 after taxes.

The difference between a conservative and a republican (and also between a democrat and a liberal) is about 50 IQ points and a well developed sense of self. A conservative or liberal may often identify with and ally with Republicans or Democrats, but is not necessarily one of them, and is able to change his mind from issue to issue and time to time as his intellect dictates.



posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 10:41 PM
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By the way, the tenth amendment, I think, should only come into action if it is absoulotely neccesary. I also think the power to change laws, shouldn't be as easy.

The supreme court officials and whatever john roberts is SHOULD NOT have their career their whole life. It isn't fair because if they stay in and make republican choices even when a democrat is president, it isn't fair. The congress is completely overrun by Republicans so its impossible to do any.

Too tired and sick to discuss anything more. I've also got a paper and project and letter due.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
By the way, the tenth amendment, I think, should only come into action if it is absoulotely neccesary.


They should have put that in the text of it then. That's not what it says. It says that the powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states and the people. When, exactly, is that NOT absolutely necessary? When is it inappropriate for the government to stay the hell out of my personal business?


I also think the power to change laws, shouldn't be as easy.


Would you honestly be saying that if it were 1993, when it was not the Republicans who dominated congress and the whitehouse, but the Democrats?
It's important to ask yourself what the intended result is when you advocate change in government. Is the goal to stop the things the Republicans have been doing? If so is that fair even though they won the elections?
And how could this be brought about? Referendums? Bad idea. You're a Californian, you know what I'm talking about. People who don't know what the hell they are talking about are putting sometimes dangerous initiatives on the California ballot just because some solicitor in front of the grocery store asked them to, and then special interest groups are using dollars as ballots to win the name recognition war in the referendum votes.
Maybe raise the vote requirement in congress? That'll just stop all legislation dead in its tracks. Do you want an even less responsive government?



The supreme court officials and whatever john roberts is SHOULD NOT have their career their whole life. It isn't fair because if they stay in and make republican choices even when a democrat is president, it isn't fair.


But that's just it- they don't make "republican" or "democrat" choices. If they could be removed or reupped, there is no way that they could be objective. They'd be too political. Also, having a rapid turnover would lead to rapid changes in the coposition of the court- not just one judge at a time, but enough to totally shift the balance- adherence to precedent would be a thing of the past. The law of the land would undergo polar shifts every 5 or 10 years. And what about this: Suppose that the Supreme Court served 4 year terms- all of them. Bush would have a completely loyal supreme court- would they stand in the way of unconstitutional police tactics, or even a power grab?


The congress is completely overrun by Republicans so its impossible to do any.

Yes, that's called the will of the people. There is plenty of room to argue over the legitimacy of Bush's election, but because of the district system used for apportioning congressmen, and even more so the 2 senator per state non-proportional senate, far and away the majority of this country, geographically speaking. Go through a phonebook and start calling people from the mid-west, you'll see. Right wrong or indifferent (frankly I think their religious nuts, and sometimes a little simple) they are socially conservative people. My brother spent some time with family out there- it's a whole different world he tells me. Can you imagine the shock I had when I found out that I've got family in a place where teenagers are expected to court for an extended period of time before they're allowed to go out on their own? I don't know what to tell you... well actually I do have one idea.

I just bought this game called Shattered Union. I'll post a picture of the US Map from the box of the game. It consists of "California Commonwealth", Pacifica, Great Plains Federation (or something like that), Republic of Texas, The Confederacy, The New England Alliance, and the European Union occupied zone around Washington, D.C. That's about the only way I can think of, off the top of my head, to please people who just can't respect an election if they don't win it.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 08:29 PM
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Hello Bush elects the senate! I thought. I thought the president elcts them not the people. Also for the law thing, I think they should make it so at least one democrat votes yes or if the situation was reversed, one republican votes yes. I also think the congress should remain neutral it would make sense, so that when bush wants a law, no one automatically accpets it because he is a Republican or vice-versa.



posted on Nov, 3 2005 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
Hello Bush elects the senate! I thought. I thought the president elcts them not the people.


What? I suspect that somehow we have gotten Supreme Court nominations mixed up with Senate elections. The citizens elect the Senate. Bush gets 1 vote, just like every other American does. The citizens of each state elect 2 people to be their state's senators. Those senators in turn vote on the confirmation of any officials which the President wishes to appoint.

There is a phenomenon known as "coat tails" which is rooted in A. the political ignorance of some voters. and B. Party Loyalty, whereby if a voter is happy with an incumbent president of a given party, it is likely they will vote for that party in congressional and senate races unless they have some countervailing knowledge about the candidate in question.



Also for the law thing, I think they should make it so at least one democrat votes yes or if the situation was reversed, one republican votes yes.


I'm not sure if I understand. Are you suggesting that it should be required that a member of the opposite party defects in order for a bill to be passed against his party's wishes? That's nice until you think about Bernie Sanders. Sanders is the only Socialist in congress. Without his vote, nothing could get done, unless you made that law specific to Republicans and Democrats, which is arguably unconstitutional- equal protection under the law. Even if you could do that, what happens if the Republican party goes nuts- like Nazi party nuts, and pretty soon there are only 10 of them left in congress and the rest is all Democrats. Can 10 people really be allowed to drag the rest of the country around by the ear just because we don't want people to get upset when they lose elections?


I also think the congress should remain neutral it would make sense, so that when bush wants a law, no one automatically accpets it because he is a Republican or vice-versa.


Now you're speaking my language really, because I agree. The only problem is that it's never going to happen. Humans have been writing laws for a long time. The Code of Hammurabi was written circa 1700BC. In 3700+ years of sophisticated lawmaking, nobody has found an effective way to make a law against being stupid. People, in general, become stupid the minute you put 2 or more of them in the same room and give them something to do that can be done in more than one way. That's doubly true when the people think they're important, doubled again when the building is located in D.C., and doubled yet again when the task in question involves government. So what I'm trying to say is that there is no legal way to outlaw bias. We may as well try to outlaw opinions.

Also, to be perfectly fair, I really don't think the Republicans just get together after the session is over and give eachother back rubs for the hell of it. I think that when they support their party they do it out of a genuine belief (although they might be wrong) that either 1. What they are doing is good for the country. or 2. What they are doing is necessary as a compromise to get people to help them do something else that is good for the country. I don't see them as sitting in their offices in a massive chair twisting their mustaches like 007 flick villains- they just have opinions which are often wrong, and that goes for both parties.


Anyway, not to lecture. I think your heart is in the right place; you seem to be an idealist, like I was/am. Unfortunately, the farther you come along in your pondering of these matters, the more I suspect you will realize, as I have begun to, that humans as a whole are not "good" enough to make ideals function.



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 04:29 PM
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I just had an odd conspiracy theory that threatens both parties.

Okay the Democrats are funding the secret government. That would explain why they raise taxes. (I know it goes to single parents or whatever but it may go to secret government)

The Republicans are kind of running it. Or if they aren't running the conspiracy now, they were. I can't find the right page but its on ATS if you click on ETs or whatever. At the top you know. IT says something about Dwight D. Eisenhour controlling Area 51 or something. And Dwight D. Eisenhour was a Republican so...

Its probably wrong. The conspiracy hasn't been as active as it was in the 90's . The people who run it are probably not in a Political Party. I do not believe either Political Party has illuminati in it.

I was surpirsed when Clinton was Helping Bush. I mean it seems like Clinton would of had too much publicity and Bush might of gotten offended that the Clinton was helping him.



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Conspiracy Theorist06
I just had an odd conspiracy theory that threatens both parties.

Okay the Democrats are funding the secret government.

The Republicans are kind of running it.


I've always been fond of joking that we only have one political party operating in two halves. Republicans are Nationalists, Democrats are Socialists, and if they work together you could call them National Socialists, aka Nazis.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
The most noteable feature of the historical political landscape in America is the presence of a party of small government which enjoys the support of the typical working man. For a very large part of our history, this was the Democratic-Republican Party, and it's direct descendant, the Democratic Party.


Only partially true. The true part is that the Democratic-Republicans supported a small FEDERAL government, while the Federalists were for expanding federal power, and the Federalists were also the party of the commercial interest. What isn't true is that the D-Rs supported small government generally (only w/r/t the feds), or that the D-Rs represented the typical working man. It's more accurate to say that the D-Rs/Democrats represented rural interests (including the big slaveowning planters -- far from "working people"), while the Federalists, Whigs, and Republicans represented the urban elites. In the early days of our nation, working people in the sense of hired industrial workers weren't much of a political force; as we industrialized and they became one, neither party consistently represented their interests, but occasionally those interests were represented (e.g. by Theodore Roosevelt -- a Republican).

That relationship persisted until the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. That began the Democrats' sea change into a party of the urban common people rather than one of rural people.

No American political party except the Libertarians has ever truly represented "small government." A nation generally has the amount of government that it needs given its diversity, population, and complexity of culture. Attempts to have more or less government than this need-point tend to be corrected rather swiftly and sometimes brutally, in either direction. Thus, the Articles of Confederation, representing too-weak government for the circumstances, were replaced by the Constitution, which still proved too weak in the mid-19th century and was replaced by an amended and reinterpreted Constitution. On the opposite pole, the dictatorship of Stalin, being stronger and more intrusive government than Russia demanded, was relaxed somewhat after his death.

The Constitution actually authorizes a level of intrusive government that no American would want, but doesn't require that this be done. In fact, the federal government could, if it so chose, apply a 100% income tax to all people and then support everyone with dole payments. The federal government is actually a good deal WEAKER than the maximum power the Constitution allows it, because America doesn't want or need a government as strong as that maximum. The Libertarians are calling for a level of government significantly less than current demand, and that's probably why they can't win elections.



There was yet another shift early in the 20th century. The issues became economic again and the Democrats again became the party of big government, intervening to create and improve jobs. There you've got the New Deal.

Now we are in the midst of a shift- these things seem to happen every 60 years, like clockwork. The issue has become national security, and Republicans are fast becoming the party of big government again.


Being old enough to have lived through the 1960s and half of the 1950s, I can definitely attest that this is not the first time that national security has been on the front burner. In fact, by comparison to the Cold War at its height, today's obsession with security is tame and halfway. I definitely don't agree that this is a permanent shift, although we do have an issue since the end of World War II regarding the degree and type of U.S. international intervention.



So the story of American partisan history, in a nutshell, is that . . . you will have a party of big business and a party of the people. This will very rarely change, although second options will open up here and there, either in the form of 3rd parties or in the form of each major party having something to offer for a different sector of the common people.


Well, that would be nice, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, the more usual trend where money influences politics to the degree it does in America, is that everybody represents big business and nobody represents the people. The Democratic Leadership Council, which took control of the Democratic Party with Clinton's election (although they may be losing it now), made the Democrats a party just as corporatist as the Republicans, and defined the differences between the parties purely in terms of social issues. This is what corporate America would call a "politically safe" situation -- no matter who wins, they win.



Our modern Republican party has been conservative like the Democratic-Republicans, but are becoming liberal like the federalists again.


A quibble: the equation of "liberal" with "big government" and "conservative" with "small government" is an invention of self-serving conservatives, and is false. Neither liberals nor conservatives want a bigger or smaller government overall, they just want a shift in emphasis. The Republicans are increasing government power in terms of the military and foreign intervention, corporate welfare, and police powers and intrusion into private lives; they are however reducing it in terms of consumer protection, environmental protection, public services, and protection of workers' rights. This may represent a net increase under the Bush administration, but if so it is not all that big a net increase -- and even if it is, to call such a pro-corporate, anti-people's rights shift "liberal" is a perfect travesty.



Then why do Republicans hate education? For the same reason that Democrats do: Educated people ask too many questions and want too much change.


Cynical young person.

Regarding Amendment 10: You might consider this amendment in light of the process that led to the Bill of Rights in the first place. It's common in our political discourse to attribute these amendments to the framers of the Constitution, but that's incorrect. They were framed by, and demanded by, the anti-federalists, and the Constitution advocates agreed to them under protest and as a condition of ratification. Some really specious arguments against them were raised by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist papers.

A close examination of Article I, Section 8 shows some very vague empowering language that allows the federal government to do almost anything it wants. It can levy taxes in any amount, and by implication spend the money it levies on anything, as long as the taxes are uniform by state and it can justify the taxing and spending as intended to "pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." (Hence the statement above that it could legally impose a 100% tax and pay everyone a dole.) It can justify huge intrusions into economic life on the basis of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. It can make and require the executive branch to enforce any law deemed "necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

That kind of language does NOT create a restricted, limited government!

Now, none of this obviates in any way the affirmative restrictions of the Bill of Rights. No matter what the federal government is empowered to do by this loose language, it still cannot establish a religion, restrict the free exercise thereof, deny life, liberty or property without due process, etc. But the 10th amendment contains no such affirmative restrictions. It merely says that whatever powers are not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. The problem being that the language of the Constitution grants, in potential, ALL powers to the federal government, leaving NOTHING reserved to the states or to the people!

And it does no good to argue that the framers wouldn't have incorporated such a contradition into the document. They didn't. The framers of the Constitution were one group of people, while the framers of the Bill of Rights were another group, and with respect to the 10th amendment, that group got diddled.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
What isn't true is that the D-Rs supported small government generally (only w/r/t the feds),

Fair point, I have been primarily focused on federal politics here, but you're right. Obviously in rural states the D-Rs had to get a bit liberal to keep the vote of the common dirt-farmer. The stay acts on forclosures are a good example.


or that the D-Rs represented the typical working man. It's more accurate to say that the D-Rs/Democrats represented rural interests (including the big slaveowning planters -- far from "working people"), while the Federalists, Whigs, and Republicans represented the urban elites.


Again this is fair. I would probably rephrase more liberally, something along the lines of "were identified with by the common man". You are again correct that parties always tend to go where the money is and let the common man closest to their position come along on his own. Still it is a fact that early on the American working man in the prevailing part of the nation was a simple farmer, and his vote is one of the major factors that kept the rural-favoring D-Rs in power.


In the early days of our nation, working people in the sense of hired industrial workers weren't much of a political force;


Agreed, my point is that the working man was more commonly a dirt farmer than an industrial laborer in an urbanized area, up until revolutions in transportation, communcation, and industry in the 19th century began to diversify the "working class" in the North (while the South remained primarily a rural agricultural economy for quite a while, hence the "Solid South", where the working class was not diverse enough to make elections too close)


No American political party except the Libertarians has ever truly represented "small government."

In consideration of state levels as well as federal you are mostly correct, unless I'm forgetting one of the transient third parties.


A nation generally has the amount of government that it needs given its diversity, population, and complexity of culture.


I would agree in terms of actual government (which has to be elected) although parties will sometimes advocate a level of government which is either above or below the need-point, which probably is a significant factor in the formation of ages of dominance.
In addition to divergence from the needed amount of instrusion, the type of intrusion is obviously a factor, and at present this is probably where most of the difference between our parties exists. This can create obvious point-of-view biases. People who are geographically or demographically positioned in such a way as to not recieve as much of the benefit of intrusion, while still carrying part of the burden, will have a different perspective of what the level of intrusion is. This is where I think some of the minor errors or generalizations in my first post come from.


The Constitution actually authorizes a level of intrusive government that no American would want, but doesn't require that this be done.

True, but it limits the ends for which such means might be pursued. This could hypothetically set upper and lower limits on intrusion at a given time, although those limits will shift with circumstances.



Being old enough to have lived through the 1960s and half of the 1950s, I can definitely attest that this is not the first time that national security has been on the front burner.


My statement that we are in the midst of a shift to focus on national security refers at the very least to the beginning of the Reagan administration, with obvious precursors to that shift in the late 40s and 50s, although I would argue that national security had close competition with social and economic issues through the 60s and 70s, again in the 90s, and possibly yet again in 2006 or 2008.
I think it's fair to say, though I'd be interested in your opinion on the matter, that National Security really didn't break through as the dominant issue until the Reagan and Bush 41 Administrations, and wasn't really observed to slip again (when you consider the Perot factor) until the 1994 and 1996 elections.


In fact, by comparison to the Cold War at its height, today's obsession with security is tame and halfway.

In terms of social attitudes or actual policy. However worried we may have been about the Soviet Union, I'm primarily interested in what actually got people elected and what they did with their office.

From Korea to the Bay of Pigs, perhaps, but my understanding (which may not be extensive enough) is that social and economic agendas dominated at the very least through the Johnson and and Nixon administrations, unless of course we characterize Vietnam as security concern that won elections and enjoyed top priority with policy makers, which I obviously doubt. I could give Kennedy and Ford the benefit of the doubt, even though many of their "national security" moments, were thrust upon them either by previous administrations or foreign action (Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Koh Tang). Nor would I call Carter a foreign policy president by any stretch of the imagination, despite Iran and the occasional kissing of Communist feet.


I definitely don't agree that this is a permanent shift, although we do have an issue since the end of World War II regarding the degree and type of U.S. international intervention.


I would certainly not contend that any shift is permanent, and I actually believe that the dominance of foreign policy is prepared to meet an early death, if it hasn't begun to already. I expect foreign adventures and meddling for economic purposes over the course of the next 20 years, particularly with respect to East Africa, South America, and India, but my expectations have less to do with national security and more to do with resource prices, particularly cement, metals, uranium, etc if and when the continued increase in natural gas and oil prices creates a need for new development of energy infrastructure and a switch to concrete for most paving.



Well, that would be nice, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, the more usual trend where money influences politics to the degree it does in America, is that everybody represents big business and nobody represents the people.

Again I am bitten by the same generalization as I was with respect to D-Rs. It has generally been my position that neither party first and foremost represents the interests of the people, but generally one of the parties will be considered more friendly to the people while it goes on following the money. I believe that while many democratic voters would identify their party as that of the people, a lesser percent of republican voters would do so, and voters on each side would characterize the other as the representitive of an aloof elite. If I am correct in this, which I have gathered from my observation both online and in the news media as well as in personal conversations, then the sum of a poll would indicate that while most Americans identify the political parties as serving financial interests first and foremost, there would be one party which was heavily considered to accidentally be the closest thing to a "party of the people" at the same time.


The Democratic Leadership Council, which took control of the Democratic Party with Clinton's election (although they may be losing it now), made the Democrats a party just as corporatist as the Republicans, and defined the differences between the parties purely in terms of social issues.


In light of that I'd be very interested in your views on the thread I linked to several posts above, titled "Fear and Partisanship: Stealing your Liberty to make you vote"
I think it bears mentioning though that even though the Democrats found a new place to sell out (as if they hadn't already when they took us to Vietnam for the Military Industrial Complex) that the Clinton years have been sold by the media as a golden age of prosperity for the common man. I believe this illustrates my contention that even while doing what politicians do, one party or the other can generally be accepted, despite whatever the truth may be, as the party of the common man by virtue of advocating government intrusion in the areas which the majority of the population is willing to stomach.


This is what corporate America would call a "politically safe" situation -- no matter who wins, they win.

Double-safe in the age of electronic voting. They get to choose the greater of two evils.



A quibble: the equation of "liberal" with "big government" and "conservative" with "small government" is an invention of self-serving conservatives, and is false.

Or perhaps a matter of point-of-view bias, to put it more gently.
I have conservative leanings because conservatives, sellouts as they may be, have generally given away less of my money for causes that I do not share in, have not said as many bad things about my firearm, etc.
On the opposite side fo the same coin, perhaps the overall level of conservative intrusion has not changed, but only the areas in which they intrude, which would explain my perception of a shift as they begin to spend my money on wars that aren't making me safer, among other things.



Cynical young person.

I have very little beef with that description of my view on political stances on education, except to say that just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get me.


Regarding Amendment 10: You might consider this amendment in light of the process that led to the Bill of Rights in the first place. It's common in our political discourse to attribute these amendments to the framers of the Constitution, but that's incorrect. They were framed by, and demanded by, the anti-federalists, and the Constitution advocates agreed to them under protest and as a condition of ratification.


I am aware. My first semester in college pretty well turned my view of America's founding fathers on its head and raised questions that at times I'm still almost afraid to address. Emotionally I side with Jefferson almost across the board, but if views like his had reigned throughout American history I believe that I would probably not enjoy the life that I do today, if America had maintained independence at all.


A close examination of Article I, Section 8 shows some very vague empowering language that allows the federal government to do almost anything it wants. It can levy taxes in any amount, and by implication spend the money it levies on anything, as long as the taxes are uniform by state and it can justify the taxing and spending as intended to "pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."


It is precisely the requirement of "for the general Welfare" which should in large part safeguard us against excessive government intrusion, although in practice this has not worked very well, since our Constitution has a high level of malleability thanks to the SCOTUS.

In 1936, in US v Butler the Supreme Court ruled that the General Welfare Clause could not be used to justify taxes affecting local as opposed to national interests. (Specifically the case dealt with part of the New Deal- the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act- which taxed processors of agricultural products in order to provide subsidies for farmers as a price support for crops.)
This precedent has not been far-reaching though; the Commerce Clause has picked up a lot of the slack, and social programs which I do not view as fundementally different from that stuck down in Butler have been protected by the General Welfare Clause by virtue of their geographic distribution.


But the 10th amendment contains no such affirmative restrictions. It merely says that whatever powers are not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people. The problem being that the language of the Constitution grants, in potential, ALL powers to the federal government, leaving NOTHING reserved to the states or to the people!


Only under the most absurd of Supreme Courts (far in excess of anything even the 9th Circuit would likely tollerate, IMHO) could this be true. Such absurdity could fo course arise. I believe the inevitable conclusion of the social contract theory is that the individual is ultimately sovreign and that laws are essentially treaties. It is axiomatic that treaties only endure while they are mutually beneficial, and at some point one party or another is bound to renneg on its obligations, at which point war often results where the ramifications are severe enough.

Shy of such an astounding hijacking of the conglomeration of documents (the constitution itself and the several amendments) which despite their separate origins enjoy equal an equal status as components of a single body of law, the 10th Amendment clearly protects state and individual rights in many respects which could only be related to national concerns by the most obtuse sophistry. Most personal actions such as marriage, sexual conduct, abortion, and virtually every individual right promised in the Bill of Rights (which does not establish federal authority over those rights, even in the event that those amendments were repealed) etc cannot be compellingly argued as proper objects of federal control.
Even your 100% tax is highly questionable, though not explicitly ruled out, as the federal government has only the authority to regulate interstate commerce, but not to organize or mandate it. Therefore the federal government is of highly questionable authority to prevent the establishment of localized economies in circumvention of such a tax, except by a ludicrous extension of the precedent that domestic production influences interstate demand and therefore may be prohibited.

Clearly any such drastic interpretation of the Constitution, possible as it may be through ambiguity, is tantamount to any international instance in which a nation takes aggressive action by intentional misrepresentation of its treaty obligations, and would be legitimately subject to corrective action. In simpler terms, I believe you and I both know there'd be a war over such a thing and that the government would likely either fail to accomplish its objective or fall completely.


I appreciate your input, it's nice to have someone so bright bring this thread back to life. In large part I agree with you as far as semantics are concerned, but in practice I believe that their are obvious limits which keep our constitution serviceable, though not perfect, as a guide American government. On the same note, our parties, while generally disagreeable, are what we have to work with and can be worked with to at least marginal effect- to generalize them as polar opposites as I have risked is a bit of a stretch, but there are differences. I consider them a pair of bodies orbiting an imperfect but workable line, each taking its turn on the better side here and there and now and then.

And now, if Big 5 isn't already closed, I think I'll go price a .357 before the Democrats retake congress.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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The only thing I have to add to this thread is this there is no such thing as a party stance or party policy. All politics is a group of people who give themselvs a label and attempt to brainwash people.
Just who the brainwash with the aid of the media is an interesting question.
Is it the general population or party faithful?
IMH its a bit of both differnt messagers would be sent to the party faithful and the general population.



posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Vagabond:

In regard to the national security mania of the '50s and '60s, yes, that definitely dictated policy. As national politics always are, it was a complicated situation, but here are some of the things that happened as I see it.

After World War II, there was a debate in government circles over what approach to take toward the Soviet Union and its occupation of former Nazi-held territory. Most people have heard the term "containment" and many see it as a hard-line policy; actually the advocates of containment were the moderates, and the debate was between them and advocates of "rollback" -- going to war with the USSR to liberate eastern Europe (or maybe even reverse the Russian Revolution). The containment advocates won, of course, and in 1991 were proved correct in their assertion (scoffed at by rollback advocates) that the Soviet Union would eventually collapse internally.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Congress undertook measures attempting to purge the government, media, and American life in general of Communist influence. Initially this was aimed purely at discovering and removing Soviet agents from the U.S. government (a very legitimate security concern IMO), but it evolved or devolved into a purge, not only from government but from most professional life, of people who had ever expressed left-wing views. It became a national hysteria during Senator McCarthy's crusade.

The generation that grew up and came of age during the Depression often had such views, if they were the least bit liberal. During the 1930s, the Socialist Party was a very prominent third party, bigger than any third party today. Even the Communist Party, though nowhere near as big, had a certain respectability, and was the only party that openly championed equality for black people. To be liberal in those days, if you were young, was to lean socialist. So in the 1950s, when Communism became associated firmly with our great-power rival and with Stalin's tyranny, former socialist or Communist connections became a handy scourge to silence liberals in politics, and that's how it was used. But there is no way it could have been used that way had the public not been hysterically obsessed with national security.

Another factor I think is that every adult at that time had memories of World War II, when our national security was very seriously threatened and all kinds of sacrifices had to be made to protect ourselves. Experiences like these shape people.

In 1960, Kennedy did use some liberal campaigning points (very vaguely), but he also lashed out at the Eisenhower administration (and Vice President Nixon by implication) over a completely fictitious "missile gap." Once in office, he felt compelled to go ahead with the Bay of Pigs invasion lest he look soft on Communism. That he resisted similar pressures during the Cuban Missile Crisis to launch an air strike and invasion of Cuba is very much to his credit and may have literally saved civilization. He maintained a U.S. presence in Vietnam, despite misgivings, again because he didn't want to look soft on Communism. There are indications from White House recordings that he intended to pull out of Vietnam after the 1964 election, but didn't think it politically possible before that. Some conspiracy theorists believe that this was why he was assassinated.

LBJ certainly did expand social programs in a really massive way. He was, in a sense, trying to complete FDR's agenda. (Nixon, incidentally, expanded social programs even further; this generational trend was not confined to Democrats.) That was where his real political interest lay. But, because the nation was security-conscious to the point of mania, he also felt he had to show himself as strong on Communism. (That and he had this macho-Texas thing going and didn't want to be "the first president to lose a war.") Hence the escalation and turning Vietnam into a full-fledged American war, which it hadn't been before.

Anti-war protests provoke a ho-hum nowadays, and are expected. During Vietnam, it was another story. College-age people not buying into the militaristic, national-security-mad American mindset was seen as a dire threat to national survival. I am not exaggerating here. The lifestyle experimentation of the time also contributed to the sense of shock and fear, but I think that without the anti-war protests it might have been accepted with less horror. When Bush said "you're either with us or against us," he was roundly rebuked, but exactly that was the prevailing attitude in the '60s; "America, love it or leave it" was a common anti-anti-war sound bite. Anyone involved in the protests was tagged as a communist in the media.

Having lived through all this, I can't see today's security consciousness as a major change. In fact, I see it as having all but evaporated at this point. It looks to me like it surged very briefly after 9/11, but then declined. Most of the country, including myself, was behind invading Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and capture Osama bin Ladin. But if our national mindset were as paranoid today as it was in the early 1960s, the Iraq invasion would have been far less controversial.

As I see it, we're still in the same debate that's been ongoing since the Vietnam War, and that is: Should America be a superpower? Should we have an empire? Is what we have been doing since World War II consistent with our national values? And if not, what's the alternative?





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