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Politics

sadface
I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.

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Comments

grrm
Dec. 15th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Actually, almost all our founding fathers were liberals.

Well, okay, not Alexander Hamilton. George Washington was a moderate and a pragmatist.

But Jefferson, Madison, Sam Adams, Ben Franklin?

All liberals. All very intelligent. Part of that "elite" the conservatives like to rag on.

(As for Sarah, whatever she may be, she is hardly smart. She has demonstrated that many times. She acts as though ignorance is a virtue).

As for "earmarks, overspending, high taxes, big government," etc... those are not "democratic ideals" or even liberal ideals. Republicans have contributed to every one of those, in some case more so than Dems.
hopnutjester
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
I think sarah palin's "intelligence" can be summed up with a reminder of "the writing's on her hand".Nevermind the fact that she had to do this - what she wrote is very telling."Energy","tax"(with "budget" crossed out)are revealing enough, but "lift American spirits"?? She actually had to write that on her hand?!...
abcdelg
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Jefferson a liberal? I guess we have different deffenetions of liberals or either had different history teachers but jefferson always faught for less government and i quote "That government is best which governs least" all modern day domocratic ideals are for a stronger federal government, and as i pointed out Many republicans are just as bad about many of those things, but dems, Obama, and other dems are way worse. America is about working hard to acheive things, but when car companies are about to go under as they should have government swooped with our tax paying dollars and saved them.

Overall I just want to say that small government is the key to America, and about Palin. She has proven time and again that she is smart, and a good buisness woman. Just because she has an accent and doesnt fit in with liberal media doesnt mean she is stupid.

I also would like to apologize for my grammer and spelling lol debating gets me all riled up.

also i love ur books and besides our political views would love to get to kno u or atleast talk to at a book signing one da
m0beus
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Jefferson presided over the Lousiana purchase, probaby to this day the greatest proportional exercise of government power in the history of this country. He also signed the Embargo Act, unilaterally controlling essentially the whole economy. He believed in social leveling, as he was against a natural right of inheritance "The portion occupied by an individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the society." Reverts to society? Private property? Sounds sort of liberal to me. He also believed in absolute separation of church and state.

He also believed that small-time, steady farmers, rather than wealthy entrepreneurs, were the backbone of society. A far cry from the modern "what's mine is MINE" right wing. He may not have been liberal in the Lyndon Johnson vein, but he could never pass as a conservative today. And above all, he was a pragmatist who believed government should do what it had to.
inizitu
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Can I just say thank you for disagreeing in a civil manner? Because that doesn't always happen on the internet, and it's nice when it does. =)
indigofan
Dec. 16th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
"That government is best which governs least"

I'd hardly call "governing least" a group who would (for the most part) like to regulate who we marry, when we choose to not carry a child to term, a limit what we teach young adults about responsible sex.

Also, it's not Palin's accent that makes her appear stupid, it's the words coming out of her mouth.
prodigal
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Jefferson produced an edition of the Bible that removed all mention of Jesus being a divine being, and was the one who codified the separation of Church and State into the Constitution. Neither of those are things that conservatives would agree with.
blackrevenant
Dec. 16th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Be fair, George. "Liberal" and "conservative" mean different things now than they did all those years ago. The Founders were "classical liberals" for sure, in the vein of Locke. A great number of left-leaning thinkers and politicians these days are more influenced by Marx than they are by Madison.

Reading what they left behind, I think that there would be rotary motion in the graveyards if they knew what kinds of laws were on our books now.
dalimar2
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
And Abraham Lincoln was a conservative, and Democrats and Republicans used to be the same party!

The fact is our labels of "liberal" and "conservative" are completely different from what they were at the time. Doing such historical comparisons is a waste of time.

You really can't argue though that our country was founded upon the thesis of limited government and personal freedom though. Whether or not that was "liberal" or "conservative" for the times is rather moot.
grrm
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
No, Abraham Lincoln was a liberal. Some even considered him a radical. The Republicans were not always the conservative party.

The issues change, and the idea of "right" and "left" only goes back to the French Revolution, but liberalism and conservatism trace back to Greece and Rome. In Rome the liberals were the populares, the conservatives the optimates. One faction in favor of change, one supporting "traditional values."

As for today... "limited government" and "personal freedom" are two separate issues. No one really seems to be in favor of limited government except the Libertarians... but the greatest champions of personal freedom are all on the left these days.
dalimar2
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Really? The left being pro personal freedom?

I say this as a libertarian, by the way.

The right to work? The right to bear arms? Various economic freedoms. The right to personal property? (see kelo vs. new london). You might find more pro marijuana people on the left, but Davis in california was against it and Ron Paul is for it so that one isn't very cut and dry. School vouchers? School of choice? Charter schools? Wasn't it Mrs. Gore who went after video games? Which side is pushing various laws and limits on what people eat? Which side is against economic freedoms like where you can open a restaurant in LA? Which side pushes things like campus speech codes?

Don't get me wrong, Republicans have a whole slew of antifreedom initiatives too, the social conservative ones. Gay marriage being the obvious one. On the other hand the gay marriage ban in California was voted FOR by the same electorate than put Obama into office. Read into that what you will.

I'm sorry, I cannot reconcile that people who believe in a large statist society, even some being socialist, would be the standard bearers for personal freedom. You can't get freedom from big government, only when government is limited can freedom be guaranteed.

I wish the Libertarians were successful so I could just vote for them, but I can't, so I have to choose. I trust in the supreme court and the states to keep my social freedoms safe, and I tend to vote Republican to keep my economic freedoms safe too.
lordbrand
Dec. 16th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
To mention libertarians and then in the same sentence claim that the LEFT is the greatest champion of personal freedom?

That is a mighty interesting definition of personal freedom.

blackrevenant
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
If one includes "economic freedom" in "personal freedom," then the greatest champions are certainly not on the left. How free can someone be if they're not even able to spend their own money as they see fit? Or protect what is rightfully theirs?

The modern left is concerned not with freedom, but with enforced equality. Too often it is forgotten that freedom and equality are normally a zero-sum game. More of one is balanced by less of the other.
grrm
Dec. 16th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
"Economic freedom" seems to equate to "I don't want to pay taxes."

Taxes are price of civilization.

Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to live and love and dream, freedom of worship, freedom to live one's life without undue government interference... and, yes, equality under the law. These are the freedoms liberals believe in.
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 16th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - grrm - Dec. 16th, 2010 06:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 16th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - grrm - Dec. 16th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 16th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - vargskinnsz - Dec. 16th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 17th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - evil_lep - Dec. 17th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - decarlso2000 - Dec. 17th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 17th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - haggis_bagpipes - Jan. 30th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - arthurtonypark - Dec. 17th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - blackrevenant - Dec. 17th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - Jason Kenney - Dec. 17th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ummm no - decarlso2000 - Dec. 17th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
joncrushercrusa
Dec. 16th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
This is a great point. Both parties do support larger government and it would be unfair to say they both do not. A lot of the dissent comes from semantics of "Big Government". I did not hear a lot of conservatives complaining about the expansion of government in regards to the USA PATRIOT(Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001) Act which is singularly the most invasive government act in modern times. I need not remind anyone that the great champion of the party that claims to be for less government, George W. Bush signed this bill into effect and signed it into law in 2006 as a bill after its sunset in 2005.
Also because I am not myopic as most Americans seem to be, I clearly remember that the recession and its subsequent bail out began under the Bush administration. I also clearly remember prior to the 2008 election, Bush, McCain, and Obama meeting and making agreements that a bailout package had to be made. The extent of the differences in money to be spent between parties was less than 10% monetarily. To this day sane economists agree that allowing all the corporations in trouble including the automobile industry to go under would have been catastrophic as compared to what the country actually endured. And without digressing too much, it is in no way comparable to the Great Depression because of all the fail safes that have been placed in our system since the 30's.
Back to my original point, at any time we wish something done, like making sure toys do not carry a certain amount of lead or keeping terrorists from blowing things up or making sure roads are travel worthy for the holidays or providing health coverage to fellow citizens not currently covered, we are expanding government. Conservative leaders only seem to have a problem with expansion when laws or organizations are being created that ask the wealthiest individuals as well as corporations to help the funding of these desired projects. These wealthy entities throw tantrums because it might cut into their profits and "golden parachutes." The richest one percent, whether it be individuals or corporations believe they are pillars of the community just by being extremely wealthy and this sense of entitlement should exempt them from being taxed appropriately even though they most often benefit from the programs just as much as the average person. Even more ironically their wealth is derived when the country as a whole is doing its best and our country is always doing its best when they are making their appropriate contributions tax-wise and not simply existing.
I think in good taste I would point something out to these entities in a way that Littlefinger might: It would be better to be taxed 50% on a billion dollars than it would be to taxed 10% on 500 Million dollars. Again though this is contradictory to what the richest one percent and the conservative party supports because they can't get their minds over the fact that they will be paying a higher tax rate even though they would be netting a larger profit.
And when we focus completely on civil rights issues, I challenge any conservative to make claim that their party has done more to protect and enhance these rights than the Democratic Party has in the last 50 years. I would begin my argument by again referencing the biggest infringements on these rights in modern times, the USA PATRIOT Act.
Not to mention a large number of conservatives in my personal experience our either overtly racist and homophobic or they at least hint towards it "ipso facto" in the policies they support. This underlying racism is applicable to our relations with Mexico. Our policies towards our southern neighbor are exploitative and deplorable. We wish to make use of cheap labor in booms and repatriate when we have no more use of them; ie the Braceros Program of the 20th century. "Land of the Free" if you are rich enough to afford it.
shakauvm
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
>>No one really seems to be in favor of limited government except the Libertarians...

No one... except the Tea Party, who, you know, just took over a big fraction of the Republican Party back from the Big Government Conservatives that were established under GWB's reign.

The big change will come in 2012, when and if Tea Party candidates send enough delegates to the Convention to change the party platform to support smaller government. With the McCain crowd running things till then, you're not likely to see much change other than what the freshmen congressmen might be able to do.

In any event, I had another post talking about the difference between classical liberalism (which focused on freedom from government intrusion) and progressive liberalism (which focuses on using the government to solve problems) and how they're mostly incompatible concepts, but I think other posters on here have covered that enough.
dalimar2
Dec. 17th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Re: ummm no
In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

protonjack
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Liberal meant something different back then. Those folks were all about limited size of government- after all, they had just fought a war against a government that was too darn big for their tastes.

These days, our two ends of the political spectrum are really just two different flavors of statists. Liberals want to tax and spend us to death, and conservatives just want to spend us to death without bothering to tax us first. Both parties revile the other side as being either elitist or unintelligent, depending on their audience.

In other words, the problem with politics is that everyone involved is a politician. Maybe we should elect some people that have real jobs.
archon27
Dec. 18th, 2010 09:15 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
The late great Douglas Adams wrote something similar... to paraphrase; "The problem with modern politics is that the type of person who is actually capable of being elected president should automatically be declared inelligible by default."

Of course, anyone familiar with his works would figure that he was likely stoned out of his mind while he was writing, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that some of his ideas have merrit.
kc_gamer42
Dec. 16th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Please don't confuse the Classical Liberals that were our founding fathers with the modern-day big-government liberals like Obama and the Democrat party.
Of course, modern day conservatives don't have much more to do with our founding fathers as well. A little more, but not much.
The formation of our country was based on freedom of the individual. That means a person is free to make their own decisions and live with them. If you want to be gay and married, it's not really the government's business. If you want to carry health insurance, it's not really the government's business. If you want to read fantastic books by an author whose political opinion you don't always agree with, guess what: Not the government's business.
It seems to me that most people have lost sight of the fact that the government doesn't belong in our business.
proudbronco
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Liberalism in the 18th century does not equal "liberal" or "democrat" in the 21st century. Benjamin Franklin would not be a card carrying Democrat today. Neither would Thomas Jefferson. Alexander Hamilton would not be a Republican. That line of thinking is the shallow comfort of men and women who do not understand "liberalism"

In the true meaning of the word, even the arch-conservatives are considered "liberal" as they believe (or pretend to believe in) the value of human liberties (in all their complexities) and the individual's participation in a system of governance.

In fact, the Founding Father's idea of politics and governance is so far removed (and elevated above) today's politics its insulting to even consider them in the same crop of "liberals" today.

Anyone who wonders about the Founding Father's "politics" should read the Federalist Papers. They were concerned with the contract between government and individual, something that has long been ignored by the politicos.

Larry Enscore
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
The founding fathers were the Liberal thinkers of the time, a far cry from the Social Liberals of today. It is important to keep the terms in context.
sledgehammer44
Dec. 16th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
You have to start cutting somewhere and earmarks are a good place to start. I am conservative, border line libertarian and would fully endorse cutting the spending for the military. I think it's important our military remains a super power in the world but I don't think we should be policing the world either. Like everything else in the government it has become bloated.
I have no problem paying my fair share of taxes to live in this great country but I do have a problem paying more in taxes when the government spends my money without considering how hard I had to work to give them that money. Here are a few examples from that stimulus bill,
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film
$248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security h
eadquarters
$600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities"
• $850 million for Amtrak.
:
I mean is this the best way they could be spending our hard earned money?
As for the Sarah Palin comments, as a regular person I relate to her and like her but as for her being our next president, I don't see it happening. As for her intelligence, Obama is clearly a smart man but does that make him a great leader? A great leader doesn't have to be the smartest person in the room just the person who has the courage to make the tough decisions. Presidents surround themselves with intelligent people and use their input to make the tough choices.
And last but not least, here is a Quote from Ben Franklin on poverty that I think sums up things nicely. If Franklin is in your mind a liberal, than I guess you've converted me to a liberal :)
.
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” – Ben Franklin








Joseph Jacobson
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: ummm no
If demonstration that you're not smart is the only requirement for not being smart, how about our president claiming to campaign in 57 states?

I don't think Sam Adams was very Liberal... Jon Adams was though.
palaeologos
Dec. 19th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
Re: ummm no
Joseph, for every gaffe of that sort made by Obama I can produce 20 made by Sarah Palin, or by GWB.

Do we really need to go down this road?

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