Archive for the Politics Category

Why the GOP Struggles

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on November 27, 2008 by Joe

[Picture of a capsized, dead GOP elephant.]

Even FOX News admits the GOP struggles. They see the younger generation lean towards more liberal values; they scream about Congress slowly being replaced by Democrats; they hear the massive “How the GOP must rebuild itself” discussions. They say, somewhere down the line, political consensus curved, and America became more liberal. They ask: Why?

They blame it on the media — the famous actors and actresses who preach liberal values; that damned MTV and her politically motivated music videos; the broadcast of gay pride parades, Obama ads, and more. But I think that this supposed “liberal change” is indeed not a change America felt, because a change as fast and as drastic as these questioners describe is absurd.

I don’t believe America changed at all; I believe it was the Republican party that changed. With the eight devastating years President Bush was in office, a massive, massive divide separated traditional Republicans with new “neo-conservative” Republicans. The traditional republicans who advocated separation of church and state, who supported personal liberty, and who scoffed at the idea of preemptive war felt betrayed. And they — by mere contrast — became moderates and liberals.

It is not that America is becoming more liberal; rather, it is the Republican party becoming more and more conservative. And it is the Republican party demanding that traditionalists get out of their selective tree house. That is the reason for the downfall of the GOP. That is why they struggle.

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Republicans

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2008 by Joe

[Picture of President Ronald Reagen]

You gotta love Republicans.

They claim a national health care system would overstep the bounds of a federal government. That saving lives would in turn make the federal government far too large, because government just doesn’t work. And then…and then. They get elected to the white house to prove it.

They claim abortion is immoral, and that a fetus’ rights are more important than a mother’s. That forcing a mother to devote her life support systems to a parasite is perfectly acceptable, because it is “life” they are protecting. And then…and then. When you are an adult, you learn of their pro-death, pro-gun, pro-war policies.

They claim Gay Marriage should be made illegal on a federal level, because “God hates fags” and homosexuality is a sin. That homosexuality is “unnatural”, “unclean”, and “evil”. And then…and then. You learn about the sexual orientations of many of their religious and political leaders.

They claim “Reaganomics” is the way to run the economy. That all the money given to the rich will eventually “trickle down” and help the needy. And then…and then. You take a U.S. history class, and learn how Reagan quadrupled the trade deficit, tripled the national debt, and increased the number of people below the poverty by eight million.

They claim Christianity should play a fundamental role in our government. That this nation was founded on Christian morals and Christian values. And then…and then. The old testament, the constitution, the fact that only eight percent of people break away from their parents’ religion. That religion is nothing but an indoctrinating, non-skeptical, non-intellectually demanding, maliciously violent, group thinking ideology of the past. Knowledge of distortion, contradiction, and down-right silliness. They know all this, and yet they continue.

Like I said, you gotta love Republicans.

Fiscal Conservatives are Hypocrites

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on November 11, 2008 by Joe

I often hear conservatives call Obama a socialist, communist, Marxist, know-nothing economist. They say he will expand the federal government and destroy the laissez-faire capitalism that is the foothold of our nation. They say he will obliterate our economy and devastate the proud nation of America. That our economy will soon turn into what-was Soviet Russia… ouch.

Well now it’s my turn to say: Fiscal conservatives are hypocrites.

To demonstrate my thesis, I will deploy an analogy. Let us suppose that (1) the republican and democratic parties are competing companies, that (2) McCain and Obama were the products of these respective companies, and that (3) the people who voted were the consumers of these political products. In my analogy, this “political industry” is a free market, in which everyone may consume (or vote for) any product (McCain or Obama) they so choose, regardless of which one is necessarily “better”.

According to fiscal conservatives, that, in essence, is the driving force behind our economy. Consumers are exposed to diversity, and thus competition demands companies to make the best products for the lowest prices. Companies that do good are awarded by an abundance of customers with wallets in hand.

Marketing, of course, is also an important strategy employed by companies. Celebrity endorsements make products look ‘cool’, clever slogans and advertisements fool many into buying products they otherwise wouldn’t buy, and false image maliciously and intentionally exploits market groups. Fiscal conservatives just don’t seem to realize that the best products don’t always win. In reality, they rarely do.1

Similarly, Obama won a monopoly in the politics industry, and his strategies in doing so are irrelevant. What is important is that he won a monopoly in a supposedly fair and free system; he won the election in a free market.

So when you hear fiscal conservatives talk about how Obama “bought the election”, know that they are badmouthing the United States of America and her capitalist economy. Know that they are being hypocritical, and that they are contradicting their pro-capitalist positions. For the sake of consistency, know that fiscal conservatives must either become socialists — thereby changing their fundamental, core beliefs — or shut up about Obama’s views on the economy.

1 Examples of these occurrences include the dominance of Microsoft, McDonald’s, MasterCard, and Merrill Lynch. Mind you, those are just the ‘M’s.

Don’t Vote

Posted in Politics with tags , on October 25, 2008 by Joe

A lot has been said about Senator Obama — that he is a Muslim, that he hates America, that he is a terrorist, et cetera — and every time these slanderous accusations spill forth, it seems as though there are always people who nod their heads along, signaling their total acceptance of these lies. Meanwhile, liberals laugh quietly to themselves; they know how ridiculous these claims are.

And trust me, I know these things first-hand. I have a friend, Josiah, who I, as a liberal, continually laugh at for being an ignorant neo-con.

Yesterday, Josiah and I were having a conversation about the presidential election when I accused him of believing Obama was a Muslim.1 He retorted rather angrily, “I know Obama isn’t a Muslim! Don’t be silly. But it is undeniable that he has strong terrorist connections.” lol.

What’s scary, though, is the fact that Josiah turned eighteen just shy of a month ago. He registered to vote, like every patriotic American should, and stated how proud he was of himself that he could finally get involved in the political process.

“Out of curiosity,” I asked him. “Do you believe you are an informed voter?” He responded, “Not really.”

I don’t think Josiah should vote, although I will do nothing to take his right away. I don’t think Josiah should vote because he is, rather simply, not intelligent enough. I asked him what he thought on a progressive tax, “I don’t know.” I asked him what he thought about a national I.D. card, “I don’t know.” I asked him what he thought on the Bush Doctrine, “I don’t know.” Do you have an opinion on anything? “Well… I don’t know.”

I doubt most Americans, both liberals and conservatives, are much more informed than Josiah. I doubt most Americans truly research the candidates and the issues outside of what they see on television. I doubt most Americans are informed.

Therefore, I strongly urge those who are aware of their ignorance, to please not vote.

1 Josiah believes homosexuals, Atheists, Muslims, and Jews are terrible people. I was driving at the point that Josiah did not care about Senator Obama’s positions, and that he was judging Senator Obama solely on his background.

The Economy: Too Complicated for Me

Posted in Politics with tags , on October 12, 2008 by Joe

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” – George Carlin

The economy is going down the tubes. The stock mark is falling faster than the curtain to President Bush’s presidency; Capitol Hill is unable to come to any consensus whatsoever; and the nation is in a frantic panic. My colleague, Rob, assures me: “This is bad Joe. It’s worse than the great depression!”

I have tried to concoct an opinion for myself, but I have since lost myself in a smear war of opinions. As every expert, politician, and friend shouts answers and solutions, no progress is made, and laymen like myself become confused.

Perhaps the experts are the worst. It seems as though every expert has their own opinion, and as though every one of them is unable to provide sufficient proof for their claims. These economy experts should be the medium of focus we desperately need; but instead, they bicker over loose logic and undefined hypothesis.

Meanwhile, politicians and laymen continue arguing as if they know something. What ever happened to being humble and saying “I don’t know”? I strongly doubt our qualification to understand and judge the complex issue of the United State’s economy.

So I don’t know how to fix the economy. And I don’t have an opinion. I am fine with my ignorance. Let the smear war continue, and allow those conceited enough to continue. I am just here for the ride.

Politics as Religion

Posted in Personal, Politics, Society with tags , , on October 9, 2008 by Joe

My dad would normally be in a jovial mood when he picked me up from school, but that day was different; his irate demeanor replaced the happy-go-lucky dad I knew. There was no “What did you learn in school today?”, nor was there a “Hey kiddo.” His face was tense, completely unmoved. And his knuckles were easily seen through his firm grip of the wheel. Something was wrong, and I felt compelled to ask him what.

“They didn’t attack us,” he passionately told me. “They don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have proof that they have weapons of mass destruction. They had nothing to do with 9/11. We should not be going into Iraq! Why are we invading Iraq today?” His tirade went on, but most of it flew over my nine year old head.

I often wonder if my liberalism comes from my dad. When arguing the validity of human-invented religion for instance, I often bring up the point that the overwhelming majority of adults follow the religion of their parents. So could it be that my political beliefs are just a reincarnation of my dad’s?

I don’t like to think so. I bring up capital punishment and gun rights, both issues I heavily disagree on with my father, in an attempt to persuade myself of otherwise. But I realize that I will never know. If indeed I have a mask blinding me of political truth, I will be far too ignorant to recognize my mask. And if indeed I am ignorant, and this ignorance is common, I must conclude my children, and their children, and their children will be ignorant as well.

And if all this is true, then could politics be as pointless and fallacious and meaningless and unconvincing and trivial as arguing atheism verses religion? I am petrified to think about the question, and so I don’t.

I just wanted to bring up the thought.

Analysis of the Vice-Presidential Debate

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on October 5, 2008 by Joe

[Picture of Biden and Palin shaking hands.]

It’s no secret. Completely unable to come up with their own coherent answers, politicians need “communication advisers” to prepare them for debates and interviews. That’s why I found it strange governor Sarah Palin could not answer simple questions in her interviews with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson. In the only vice-presidential debate, it appears her communication advisers have done their homework, and prepared her well.

But it seems as though Palin only spewed her prepared rhetoric. Indeed, on numerous occasions, she had to mold the question in order to create a response. Senator Biden on the other hand, could use his own mind, and directly answer questions.

Question: What is true and what is false about what we’ve heard, read… about the causes of climate change?
Palin: …but there are real changes going on in our climate, and I don’t want to argue about the causes…
Biden: I think it is clearly man made… that’s the cause. That’s why the polar ice cap is melting.

On some occasions, it was if Palin’s prepared responses were downright nonsensical! Biden had the ability to point this out.

Question: You both have sons that are in Iraq or are on their way. You, governor Palin, have said that you would like to see a real clear plan for an exit strategy. What should that be?
Palin: I am proud of the plan… I know that the other ticket opposed this surge.
Biden: With all due respect, I didn’t hear a plan. Barack Obama has offered a clear plan: Shift responsibilities to the Iraqis over the next sixteen months, draw down our combat troops… we will end this war.

Other times, Palin blatantly ignored the questions!

Question: Which is the greatest threat: A nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?
Biden: Well they’re both very dangerous… but I’ve been focused on Pakistan. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran… they are not closed to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed.
Palin: Both are very dangerous… An nuclear armed Iran… is so extremely dangerous to consider… Isreal, is in jeopardy, of course… (talks about preconditions and never goes into the question)

As you could guess, I am quite proud of Biden. He did a great job defeating Palin, albeit a very easy job.

Question: Has this administration been an abject failure as Senator Biden says governor?
Palin: No… I mean, we’ll learn from… the past administration and other administrations. And we’re going to forge ahead with putting government back on the side of the people. And making sure our country comes first, putting obsessive partisanship aside. That’s what John McCain has been known for in all these years he’s been the maverick. But change is coming.
Biden: The issue is how different is John McCain’s policy going to be than George Bush’s. I haven’t heard anything yet. I haven’t heard how his policies are going to be different on Iran than George Bush’s. I haven’t heard how his policies are going to be different on Israel than George Bush’s. I haven’t heard how his policies are going to be different in Afghanistan than George Bush’s. I haven’t heard how his policies are going to be different in Pakistan than George Bush’s… it is; the same as George Bush’s, and you know where that policy is taking us. We will make significant change.