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Honesty vs Party Beliefs...

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posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 06:39 AM
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Its recently come to my attention that many people in politcs lie to themselves. They lie about their beliefs and pretty basically they lie about who they really are.

I was watching a show about political scandels and one caught my attention above the rest. It was of a republican congressmen who was pro family values, anti gay anti sex offender. He was later discovered chatting with underage age boys about sexual things, and it got me thinking.

Why has it become ok for people to lie to themselves about their true beliefs? Why do we follow beliefs that go against our own just because its what our party believes?

I know we all dont do this but many people do they lie to themselves about who they really are to make their party happy. I would love for a political figure to show up who is pro choice, pro cannabis, pro gay rights, and have that person actually be gay and republican.

What I really want is for politicians to cut the party belief crap and just follow what they believe in. So here is my question why has it become ok for people to believe only what their party wants them to believe, even if that goes against who they are as a person. Wouldnt the world be a better place if we could be honest with ourselves and believe in issues that we believe in without stupid bipartisian titles like republican or democrat?




posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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Thanks for the post Caballero, it's nice to see somebody looking at the morality of politics on a level somewhat deeper than "family values" (family values being the characteristic that a politician adopts when he is concerned that voters will be turned off by his lack of moral values).

Personally I feel that this phenomenon is a case of politicians doing the noble thing, but for ignoble reasons.

It hardly even needs to be said that when politicians are untrue to themselves, they are doing it to keep their jobs and expand their political power. I don't have a lot of respect for that motive in most cases.

However I do feel that politicians have a moral duty to exercise the will of their constituents first and foremost and regard for their own views as secondary guidelines.

This is a republic and therefore it is true that the people entrust their representatives with a certain amount of latitude to build policy, but this is also a democracy, and therefore the will of the people must also become policy. In any conflict of the two, I believe that democracy is of greater value.



posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by caballero
 


The number one real of having a successful political career is knowing your base of supporters. If one has liberal leanings, but lives in a very conservative area, one would run as a conservative Republican. The same is true if one is conservative and living in a liberal district. There are very few politicians who can be "themselves" and still be elected.
Cases in point:
Mitt Romney won his governorship in MA by supporting abortion rights. Had he not, he may have lost. This stance went on to haunt him when he ran for president and stated he was pro-life.
All the latest Democrats who have run for president state they support the death penalty, even though they may privately oppose it. The last candidate to publicly oppose the death penalty was Gerald Ford.

This is a good point to bring up, although one getting caught for trying to pick up a 17 year old boy would hurt any politician, no matter what party. A moral failing has nothing to do with politics, just the person who is committing it. Most of the adulterous affairs have been kept away from the public. We knew nothing of the mistresses of JFK or FDR. We now know how many times a president has been married and if he or she has an affair, it is front page news.

This year, family values in the Republican Party will take a back burner as their candidate had an affair and divorced his first wife after she became crippled in a car accident. He then married a younger, richer trophy wife. (You have to wonder who is acting like the real celebrity?)



posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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Of course the difference between a real up and comer and any other politician is the ability to be ones self at least marginally.

I bring this up in response to the point about a liberal possibly running as a conservative Republican.
Turning a seemingly impossible district could win big points with a party and possibly garner a better committee assignment and a lot of party support in an effort to keep that new seat.

There are great benefits to be reaped by the few who can be themselves and convince the voters that they're right.



posted on Sep, 1 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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IMO people choose their political party based on their beliefs more often than the other way around. In other words, they choose the party whose ideals most closely resemble their own. They don't just identify with a party and then mold all their own beliefs to suit the party's platform. Most people don't agree with everything their party says. For example, there are pro-life Democrats who nevertheless identify with the positions of their party on issues like taxes and universal health care. There are also pro-choice Republicans. There are gay Republicans (the Log Cabin Republicans) as well as the anti-gay religious right, but they both identify mostly with the Republican party on, say, economic issues.

Those who do not feel aligned with either party are independents, and they too choose the candidate who is closest to their own ideas on the issues. Democrats or Republicans who don't like their party's candidate will often vote for the other one or for a third party candidate--there should be more of those to choose from.

I would compare identifying with a party with choosing a church you don't always agree with, but the comparison is not completely apt. Churches tend to dictate a person's personal life more stringently than a poltical party does. Political parties mostly only care that you vote for them. There are no conscience pangs for those who break with their party.

It's too bad that most political candidates don't live up to their party's ideals, but leaders of any group tend to fall short because they are human. You have to take that into consideration when you cast your vote, one of the most important rights you have in a democracy.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by caballero
 


My question to you is, why would a pro-cannabis, pro gay rights, pro-choice homosexual even want to be a Republican? I'm not trying to be glib, I'm seriously asking. If a person disagrees with 90% of a party's platform, they're not going to join that party because they agree with 10% of it.

The reason we have candidates who aren't honest with themselves or the public about their true opinions is because we only have TWO PARTIES. They have to fit in somewhere. So if a politician has views that are 60% conservative and 40% liberal, they will go Republican and just try to avoid the rest. That is unless they are running for an office with mostly liberal constituents, in which case the opposite is true.

If there were more viable parties than the two we have now then politicians would be able to be more honest without throwing their election in the toilet.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:09 AM
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Ahh so we get to the core value of this argument.

My question to your question is Why do we even have parties?

Why do we seperate our values and our beliefs, and in the process lie to ourselves about who we really are.

People shouldnt want to be a republican or a democrat because both parties in some way force you to believe things that you might not believe in. A republican might like to smoke a blunt, a democrat might hate gays. So why do they lie to themselves? Its ridiculous that we let something like a political party force us to believe things we dont really believe.

We might not believe everything our party believes, but then we arent really true supporters of that party if we dont believe everything.

Vagabond and kidflash- so should we sell our souls and work for the devil just because its easier?

Be true to yourself before youre true to anyone else.

[edit on 6-9-2008 by caballero]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:39 AM
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Well, in theory, in a representative republic, which the US is in theory, I think there could be an argument made that a person running for office is supposed to represent their constituency.

Ideally, a total homophobe racist could run for office in an area that had a high concentration of homosexuals and people of a different race.

If elected, the politician would be required by honor to represent and fight for such things as equal rights and so on, even if he/she strongly disagreed, because it is their job to represent their constituency, without regard to their personal beliefs.

Of course, representing the constituency is a lot easier if the politician's beliefs coincide, but based on the theory of how a representative republic is supposed to work, it isn't required.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


Most of the Republicans who ran for president this year (including John McCain) are pro-choice. Sen. McCain has recently changed to pro-life, but he has many statements on tape where he talks about his pro-choice views. They will say anything in the primaries to get elected, since the primary voters are the core conservative (or liberal in Democratic races) part of the party. Both parties have about 30% of the vote automatically. It is the Independents and others they have to get out to vote. They should try to tap into the 50% of the population who doesn't vote.
Also, some politicians are in the party because family members before them were in it.
The Republican Party was the liberal party, and the Democrats were the conservatives. The Great Depression changed the look of the party, although the Southern or Dixie Democrats were the most conservative members of Congress until the Reagan Era.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by caballero
Vagabond and kidflash- so should we sell our souls and work for the devil just because its easier?

Be true to yourself before youre true to anyone else.


Who said anything about selling souls to the devil? I'm talking about the necessity of exercising the will of the people- a necessity which politicians already escape more often than they should.

The statement "Be true to yourself before you're true to anyone else" is not consistent with good government. When we entrust a powerful few with authority over OUR nation (and make no mistake, it's ours- we paid for it, we built it, we own it) they have a responsibility to be true to us before themselves where the discharge of their duties is concerned.

If you hire someone to paint your house white, and they decide to "be true to themselves" and paint it red, because they like red better, do you think that's appropriate?



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by caballero
 


Caballero, great topic!

One of the best examples of some one who puts party first despite difficulties with their respective parties platform is the single issue voter. There are people out there that will focus on supporting the party that agrees with their pet issue no matter what. People sometimes become politically aware just because it helps them address their passion.

Single issue voters are often attracted to one party or another and the acceptance of the rest of the platform can range from blind acceptance to conditional to not really caring about the rest of it as long as they feel their particular issue is part of the focus.

Something else to consider is that once someone has identified the party that addresses their issue they will investigate party friendly sources who might influence the things they never really thought of before.

Never trust anyone that claims to agree 100% with the platform, at that point they can't think for themselves.

What bothers me the most is that at a certain point politicians are influenced by subversive interests because they can't get past that point otherwise. That's the real problem. That's why we see so many lying politicians. The system is rigged.



posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by caballero
 


I think Dr Ron Paul is one of the few who is true to himself. He refused to speak at the RNC because they had a list of demands he would not concede to. Dr Paul has the courage to run on his convictions (along with Ralph Nader) and he should be commended for that.

I was stating most politicians change their views to get the vote of the people they are courting. They will change it back when they get to another audience. Most of them flip-flop all the time, and then they run ads claiming their opponent is the only one who flip-flops.



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099
reply to post by caballero
 


My question to you is, why would a pro-cannabis, pro gay rights, pro-choice homosexual even want to be a Republican?



Because, strictly speaking, those are values imposed by christians and not actually republican values, imo.



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 09:22 PM
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Great thread!



Originally posted by Multiple Junkie
One of the best examples of some one who puts party first despite difficulties with their respective parties platform is the single issue voter.


It's possible, even probable that the single issue voter is aligned with one or the other party. But it's also possible that that single issue is a top priority and maybe their only real priority.



Single issue voters are often attracted to one party or another and the acceptance of the rest of the platform can range from blind acceptance to conditional to not really caring about the rest of it as long as they feel their particular issue is part of the focus.


I struggle with this, because my political opinions range from strongly liberal to strongly conservative, and everything in between. So, because of this silly 2-party diametrically-opposed system we're currently in, I feel I have to choose my priorities, because no matter who I vote for, I'm going to be voting for policies that I am strongly against. And it's not that I blindly accept one platform or that I don't care. It's that I realize that in the current political climate, the candidates pretty much have to fit into one or the other extreme, as sc2099 said. That's just reality.

Oh, for 6 or 8 different viable candidates with different platforms ranging the gamut!




What bothers me the most is that at a certain point politicians are influenced by subversive interests because they can't get past that point otherwise. That's the real problem. That's why we see so many lying politicians.


I think we see so many lying politicians because they put "winning" as a priority above integrity. It's simple. The reason people get to where they get is because they RESORT to the subversive interests, thinking that honesty and integrity won't get them the prize. It's that rare man (or woman) who puts their alliance to their own integrity ABOVE winning the election that I'm going to go for every time.

Some great points made by everyone!



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating


Originally posted by sc2099
reply to post by caballero
 


My question to you is, why would a pro-cannabis, pro gay rights, pro-choice homosexual even want to be a Republican?



Because, strictly speaking, those are values imposed by christians and not actually republican values, imo.




I understand what you're saying, but those points are about 50% of the Republican platform, the social conservative side. All that's left is the financial conservative side...which Republicans shouldn't dare call themselves these days anyway. So basically if you're a fiscal conservative you probably don't want anything to do with Republicans...only the social conservatives have anything left to agree with them on.



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


I think we see so many lying politicians because they put "winning" as a priority above integrity.


I think almost every single politician out there (call me an idealist) when they ran their first race thought to themselves...

"I may stretch the truth, I may embellish, I may tell white lies, I may omit during this campaign, but once I'm in office I will do nothing but the right thing and vote the will of my constituents."

But once they're in an office they won by lying, it's already too late. They have to lie to cover the last lie, until finally they're just big liars and the exact same as the politicians they ran to unseat.



It's simple. The reason people get to where they get is because they RESORT to the subversive interests, thinking that honesty and integrity won't get them the prize. It's that rare man (or woman) who puts their alliance to their own integrity ABOVE winning the election that I'm going to go for every time.


So I guess you're writing in Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich...or some other candidate who won't win? These guys WERE honest...and as a result they are not the candidates we have to choose from. Candidates DO have to resort to lying because honesty doesn't get votes. I don't even think voters want honesty otherwise they wouldn't have chosen the candidates they did. People don't vote issues; like you said BH, they vote for who they think will win. I have stopped feeling sorry for them when they get screwed.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 12:12 AM
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Thank you guys for all your input!

Kidflash- I love Ron Paul I feel that he is the way every American should be. He is true to his beliefs he doesnt bend backwards to sacrifice what he believes in. An he has a lot of support from America, even though he says he is republican he is an American before he is a republican.

Thats the way our political system should be set up. America first, party issues later sadly thats one thing that the bipartisian government does takes the focus from america to the party.

Thats one thing that lying about your beliefs does it twists and corrupts the system, think about it a system built on lies is bound to become corrupt and im pretty sure we can all agree that our system is FAR FAR FAR from perfect.

Vagabond- Ron Paul is a good example of what Im talking about, he holds true to his beliefs and the beliefs of his supporters. It isnt impossible for a government to be set up on honesty to oneselfs and to the people.
I dont think we were meant to follow one person or one party, we were meant to vote for the issues that we believed in not what we are "supposed to believe in to be a good "patriot" aka party member.

Im sure our forefathers, especially George Washington, would be shocked that we follow issues so blindly that we do in fact put party before Country.



I struggle with this, because my political opinions range from strongly liberal to strongly conservative, and everything in between. So, because of this silly 2-party diametrically-opposed system we're currently in, I feel I have to choose my priorities, because no matter who I vote for, I'm going to be voting for policies that I am strongly against


Im pretty sure we are all like this in some areas and this is what im talking about what is democrat or what is liberal but just a name meant to divide us? Names used to lie to us and seperate and create tensions between differing opinions.

Thats what Honesty vs. Party beliefs comes down to, the flawed system that we are in thats built on corruption and lies.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 01:22 AM
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Dr. Paul has an extremely devoted following, but that does not mean that he represents all of their views and ideas.

It is impossible that the majority of people in an entire congressional district agree with the man on everything.

The key to Ron Paul's success is that his philosophy is bigger than his individual stances, and he has built his identity very closely on the issues that people do agree with him on, thus strongly deemphasizing any disagreement between himself and his constituents, which frees him to vote his conscience rather than theirs on issues where there is a disagreement.

It's smart, it's successful, and I would not say that it's wrong because perfect agreement is an unrealistic standard and 100% submission to the voters is not implied by the Republican form of government, even when democratically elected.

But ultimately the primary difference between Ron Paul and others is his ability to build consensus on points of common ground, not an unusual devotion to the particular opinions of his constituents. He gets them to come to him, he does not go to them.

A man like that has to be very careful to stay on top of the current issues, develop his pitch on those issues, and truly master his own views so that he can tiptoe on them without ever asking voters to give him too much just because he didn't sufficiently nuance his position. Otherwise a change in voters priorities would destroy Ron Paul and his populist image.

But again, I take nothing away from the man as far as his political skill goes. I'm just pointing out that it is an exercise in give and take, despite being almost entirely directed by the office holder, who also owns 100% of the accountability in that relationship, it is an extremely difficult thing to succeed at, and is not POSSIBLE in all circumstances.

This means that many leaders in many offices do not have the option of even attempting to follow Paul's example and consequently he cannot be held up as a universal model of how things should be. That model would neither achieve office, maintain office, or yield results in most offices in this nation, because of differences in voter demographics and local political priorities.

Generally speaking, there will MANY choices to make between the will of the people and the will of the office holder. When these choices become so numerous and so weighty that the office holder cannot maintain his office without either acquiessing or resorting to deception or other distasteful tactics, that is the sign of a practical obligation to the people, which also becomes a moral obligation in that the obligation can only be rendered non-binding by immoral manuevers.

I do not believe that Ron Paul would under any circumstances yield to the majority in contravention of his principles, but this creates a vexing question of whether he would allow himself to lose office over that, or whether he would resort to some dishonest manuever which contradicts the very spirit of the principles that led him into said hypothetical problem.

In short, the great gauge of a classical liberal (not to be mistaken with what we now consider liberal) is his ability to love and respect democracy when it fails.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 07:34 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099
So I guess you're writing in Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich...or some other candidate who won't win?


I may not have to write RP in!
We'll have to see what happens after his announcement on Wednesday. But if I just picked someone, regardless of whether or not they were running, I would choose Ron Paul or more likely, Dennis Kucinich, yes.
But I have decided not to pick someone out of the air, rather someone on the ballot. I know a lot of people don't agree with or understand that choice.

And The Vagabond is correct in that neither of them represent the voters 100%, but they share their main priorities with a huge number of people.



posted on Sep, 9 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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But I dont think that our Founding Fathers intended on the representatives being 100% true to the people.

I know for sure the wanted us to put the country before anything, that I know for sure. So it wouldnt make sense for them to want us to put the country first and then blindly follow people or parties who might not put the country first o some issues.

That what im saying, we dont have to follow our representatives 100% and they dont have to represent us 100%. Only in the fields that we elect them to. President is a pretty big role, I would vote Ron Paul for president but he doesnt stand for universal healthcare, I think that people have the inherent right to life and shouldnt be denied treatment because they cant pay.

So me and Ron Paul differ on this this is where it comes down to the American people. Thats the great thing about a theoretical democracy not one person has power over the other. Its a balance of power. The thing that messes up a perfect form of democracy is bipartisianship.






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