Palin

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Re: Palin

Postby twisterintexas » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:44 pm

I'd like to respond to the question, what are liberal's beliefs? I find this question intriguing. Let me preface the following by stating that no two liberals think alike, as the root of the word - liberty - allows for variation. It's rooted in the idea of self-determination, after all. That the word "liberal" is now considered almost a slur to certain people confounds me. The enemy to a liberty-minded person is a fascist. Here goes the history teacher in me: With his writings in philosophy, John Locke brought the idea of the "social contract" to modern thinking. The idea that people give consent to others to govern them, but then expect something in return (security, prosperity, etc) is an ancient one. Thomas Hobbes clarified it in a rather sarcastic way in Leviathan. Locke went one step further and applied this principal to the individual. He basically introduced the idea of the inalienable right to life, liberty, and property. Thomas Jefferson used Francis Hutchinson's idea that an individual's ultimate goal was to be "happy" (rather, a greatest utility), and the Declaration of Independece's "Committee of 5" ended up replacing "property" with the "pursuit of happiness." This humanist enlightenment thinking was based on the idea that ultimately, man is self-determining, God is not involved in the everyday (if at all), and man has certain natural rights that cannot be ignored. That's classical liberalism. Ergo, I argue, modern liberalism seeks ways to enhance these natural rights. That's why liberals are in favor of health care reform, as it directly effects the right to life and one's pursuit of happiness. I personally believe that our economy would boom with more entrepreneurs and risk-takers with some form of accessible health care, as many creative, innovative thinkers may be barred from fulfillng their potential because they need to have access to employer-sponsored health care. The current system we have now is, I believe, a plot to keep people rooted inside corporations. I've heard people argue that if the pioneers were able to accomplish what they did without health care, why can't we today? Well, for starters, the pioneers dealt with quacks, so health care was iffy at best, anyway. Heck, George Washington died because he was bled to death, which was considered state-of-the art health care treatment in the 18th century. It is unconscionable that under this kind of thinking and with the advances in science, we'd allow people without enough money to die. Just like conservatism, however, liberalism isn't a one-definition-fits-everyone ideology. For example, though I am a liberal, I do not agree with gun control. I say it's best to be armed against the government (of course, that point's a little moot with the government's nuclear capabilities and all, but hey, it makes me feel like I have more control). As a liberal, I am against the death penalty but for the right to have an abortion, as the former infringes on liberty and the latter enhances liberty. Yes, abortion kills and the condemned are killers, but I don't believe it's logical to trust a government to kill or torture - ever. Give a government too much power and eventually, that power will turn on you. As a liberal, I am vehemently opposed to building the wall along the Mexican border. It won't stop illegals from coming (they are illegal for a reason!) just as gun control will not stop criminals from gaining access to weapons. And, once again, it contradicts the very idea of liberty. At its most basic, liberalism is for individual rights. With the more modern interpretation, liberalism has come to mean that society's rights (equal access to education, health care, etc) should not be undermined by individual rights, as that may result in hedonism/ anarchy. By the way, classical liberalism is not libertarianism, which is rooted in anarchy. Interestingly, Conservatives (a word that was classically used to describe 'maintaining the status quo') have tried to claim classical liberalism for themselves - "conserving the constitution," as they'd see it. However, that attempt falls woefully flat as the American conservative movement leans towards militarialism, which by definition is not liberal. Anyway, these are my two cents. Fire away!
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Re: Palin

Postby merk » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:01 am

athena wrote:The majority of Americans did NOT vote Bush into office. Unfortunately, votes are the primary determinant for winning any election. A candidate must get the majority of votes in order to win [unless bush is running]. Which means, that YES winning the most votes is the first step in becoming president - it would be nice if the majority of our fellow Americans were intelligent enough to appreciate those "subtle little differences" between candidates - but that just is not reality. Stop assuming that all other Americans are as with it as you, me , and the rest of us here on this forum.
Athena i have to correct you. Its not who gets the popular vote that wins. In actuality, our votes do NOT elect the president. Its the electoral college that elects the president. Each state gets a certain number of votes in the electoral college. The person who gets the most votes there is who wins. Just look up the term 'super delegate' to get an idea of how the voting works.
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Re: Palin

Postby merk » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:32 am

athena wrote:So, yeah McCain picked Palin over all the rest just to get the popular vote - but in the final analysis - that's exactly what counts on election day. If he picked anybody else - he very likely would lose the election. The Republican party has such a bad reputation right now - thanks to bush and the gang - that any other possible running mate would never get him the votes - which would make his entire campaign useless and a waste of time, energy, and money. Palin is guaranteed to get him those extra votes to get through the finnish line - just based on the fact that she is a "soccer mom" whom many people on both sides like enough to make that important difference
well it comes down to whats more important - winning or having the best qualified people in office. i think palin is woefully unprepared to be vp, let alone president. what does it say about mccain if he wants to win so bad that hes willing to put someone so unprepared that close to the most powerful position in the country?
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Re: Palin

Postby athena » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:11 pm

You are very right about our votes not actually counting. Though I was taught in history class growing up that the electoral college is supposed to act as a filtering process only. If 65% of the voters in a given state vote for candidate A - then 65% of the electoral college's votes or points also go to that same candidate. In the final analysis, the electoral college and the popular votes are expected to agree - not contradict each other. Unfortunately, Bush changed all that eight years ago - making me and lots of others wonder if it's really worth voting at all if our votes don't count anyway. Technically speaking, the United States is supposed to be "of the people, for the people, and by the people" - last I heard - the electoral college and the people are not one and the same entity in this country. And Superdelegate is NOT my Constitution. athena
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Re: Palin

Postby merk » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:27 pm

I wouldn't go so far as to say your votes dont count. Its more like some votes count more then others.
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Re: Palin

Postby Scenario Thinker » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:55 pm

The electoral college was put in because they wanted all states represented with at least some percentage of the vote (back when we had fewer states), even if it was a small population state and spread out, etc. So, each state has at least two votes, plus the other representatives depending on the state. It is rare that the electoral outcome differs from the popular vote, but instead of blaming close votes and electoral colleges, I would blame the other half of your fellow Americans who are voting the opposite way to make it so close in the first place.
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Re: Palin

Postby athena » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:22 pm

Merk: Whose votes count more than others? My vote obviously did not count eight years ago. Whose vote was counted as weighing more than mine? I am serious, who was considered having more right to vote than me and the rest of us? I just want to know who these people are who consider themselves more American than you and I? Scenario: Which happens to be the job of our education system in this country - which we all know does not work very well - making this all just a vicious circle. The idiot on the street - becomes the uninformed moron at the polls on election day - voting for their friend's or relative's favorite party - that party gets in and continues to degrade the education system - which spits out more undereducated morons onto the streets - etc., etc., etc. We just need to put a well placed stop to the cycle. Do we have any suggestions? I actually had a friend once who chose his party based on the flip of a coin. And this is supposed to American democracy at its finest! Not to mention the leaders of the world! athena
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Re: Palin

Postby merk » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:35 pm

i didnt say anyone considered themselves more of an american then you or i. But just as an example: lets say state A has 100 people living in it and gets 2 votes in the electoral college. state B has 110 but also only gets 2 electoral votes. So you could say the votes of people in state A count more then the votes of the people in state B. Also, the way some states do it is which ever candidate gets the most votes in that state, gets ALL of the electoral votes. So even if the state has say 10 votes. If 60 percent of the votes go to candidate 1, he gets all 10 votes instead of 6 (60 percent). This why in some states the candidates dont spend too much time in them, like california. California pretty much always votes more for democratic then republican. So if you are republican in california, you could argue your vote doesn't count because ALL of the electoral votes that california has will go to the democratic candidate. This varies state by state. I'm by no means an election expert so feel free to do some googling to check any of this.
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Re: Palin

Postby athena » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:08 pm

You are proving my point. So how is it possible for any state's electoral college to give the majority of its votes - entirely or in part - to a candidate without them winning the popular vote in that state? I just do not see how a loser of the popular vote could ever possibly get the electoral votes to overcome the voters. athena
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Re: Palin

Postby Scenario Thinker » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:10 pm

athena wrote:Scenario: Which happens to be the job of our education system in this country - which we all know does not work very well - making this all just a vicious circle. The idiot on the street - becomes the uninformed moron at the polls on election day - voting for their friend's or relative's favorite party - that party gets in and continues to degrade the education system - which spits out more undereducated morons onto the streets - etc., etc., etc.
Which half are the morons?
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Re: Palin

Postby Scenario Thinker » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:16 pm

athena wrote:You are proving my point. So how is it possible for any state's electoral college to give the majority of its votes - entirely or in part - to a candidate without them winning the popular vote in that state? I just do not see how a loser of the popular vote could ever possibly get the electoral votes to overcome the voters.
It's only happened 4 times in US history (out of 55): http://www.america.gov/st/elections08-e ... 26239.html
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Re: Palin

Postby merk » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:39 pm

athena wrote:You are proving my point. So how is it possible for any state's electoral college to give the majority of its votes - entirely or in part - to a candidate without them winning the popular vote in that state? I just do not see how a loser of the popular vote could ever possibly get the electoral votes to overcome the voters.
No you are misunderstanding. I believe this is different for each state but as far as i know there's only two ways the states do it. If a candidate gets the majority of the vote, then then they get ALL of the electoral votes for that state. Or, the other way they do it is give each candidate a percentage of the electoral votes based on how much of a percentage they got of the popular vote in that state. Each states electoral vote doesn't always equal the same number of voters. Like the example i gave - say one state, A, has 2 votes and 100 citizens. And another state, B, has 110 citizens and also 2 votes. If you do that math that means the votes in state A count a little more then state B. Because there are less people sharing the 2 electoral college votes that the state has. Also, like i said, if a state gives all its votes to a candidate based on who got the majority vote in that state, then in places like california that usually vote democrat, the votes of the republicans are sort of meaningless. While their vote counts within the state - within the country as a whole it doesnt count that much since ALL of the states electoral votes are going to go to the democratic candidate. As scenario thinker pointed out, this was done to give the smaller states more of an equal voice in the federal government. Unfortunately what that does mean is that each individual voter in that smaller state have more of an impact on the election then the voters in a bigger state. so put another way - the electoral college tries to make each state more of an equal, but in the process in makes each individual voter somewhat unequal.
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Re: Palin

Postby DJCNOR » Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:53 am

Another reason for the differences in population to electoral vote ratio was the founding fathers' understanding that areas that contributed the most to essential industries, farming and mining and wood in particular, naturally had smaller densities of population. They understood that it was quite possible for votes of the inhabitants of those areas to be overrode by the sheer numbers of those outside those areas to the detriment of the country. For example, the folks outside farming areas want food, fuel, and building materials to be a cheap as possible. It would be quite possible for them to enact policies that made that happen without taking into account what would happen in those areas as a result that would hurt the nation as a whole. You drive farmers out of business, the whole country starves, as any number of countries have discovered the hard way. Donna
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Re: Palin

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:52 am

DJCNOR wrote: ... had smaller densities of population.
That's what I meant by "spread out", not as descriptive as your detailed explanation :)
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Re: Palin

Postby athena » Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:40 pm

Thank you scenario for the link. It did point out one thing, that the elections where the electoral votes went to the loser of the popular vote - were riddled with corruption. Yes, including 2000 - since we all now know that Florida actually went to Gore - but the Supreme court (with a Republican majority) decided the issue and handed this country to Bush. They ignored the voters, they ignored the intent of the founding fathers, and ignored the purpose and rules of the electoral college entirely. Therefore corruption in all four cases is how I see it. So, are you condoning this corruption? Or are you saying that this kind of corrupt practice is ok and acceptable behavior for our elected public servants? I am a Democrat. This does not mean that I consider every Republican to be a moron. I no longer blindly trust someone who just happens to be of the same party as myself. I have no use for anyone of any party who acts or thinks in this way to be very intelligent. Actually, I consider it very low class to speak or act in such a way - it is these kinds of people I consider among the morons. If someone stabs me in the back - I will never trust them again. If I see actions from a democratic candidate which clearly and seriously contradict their words - I keep an eye out for more disturbing behavior from that person. Actions speak much louder than words. Will I change my party designation? No! Even if the rest of the party has lost its marbles and support this candidate? Again, no! My party might have disappointed me, but it is the individual candidate that is the real problem - and the rest of the party is just blindly following like a bunch of lemmings over a cliff. They may be endangering this entire country by being blind fools - but I don't have to follow them over the cliff. But on the other hand, to say that the republicans are entirely innocent in all this is again very foolish and blind - because they clearly are partly responsible for the mess we are in right now. I am looking at the coming election from a very realistic point of view: The terrorists want us either dead or enslaved under their twisted sharia laws. They will attack us again - no matter which candidate wins. What is the worst case scenario if McCain and Palin wins? What is the worst case scenario if Barack Obama wins? Which of these two scenarios is the least damaging to this country and our rights, liberties, and people? I just cannot ignore reality - though I really wish I had that luxury. athena
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