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Offline Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 7:58:57 AM(UTC)
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I get democracy, actually fully embrace it upon the principle of it.. I get having options to choose from in an electoral cycle. They are the fundamentals of what this country born to be.. land of democracy and freedom.

One can understand fundamental differences in visions upon the principles in which a state or a nation should be governed. We can debate how much or how little a government should influence or rule a society and to what extent. Each citizen of this nation seems to vary a bit here or there on those simple questions, so with this thread I hope to steer clear of that, at least in the outset.

My query here is why do we allow a two party system to dictate policy, candidates and the basic cash flow of this society?

Couple basic thoughts:

* Is it by design to keep the citizens of this country divided?

By setting it up as a simple fence, one party against the other; we the people never truly can align for the betterment of the country. Both parties in the end, really only serve on common primary goal; to keep themselves in power. Sure, once upon a time there were actual interests of the people at hand as a primary goal. But today's system is keep the party in control so they can dictate the flow of the cash; both in governmental operation but just as importantly in campaign funding through favorable passage of laws, acts and policy.

* Do the Parties really have defined party lines anymore?

The lines between Left and Right used to have more definition, today, it seems like one cobbled mess just to appeal to the masses to gain votes. Once elected, there really is little in terms of distinction between the parties. It really comes down to whom is funding more and what their views upon regulation is.

* Why should we the people of this nation continue to allow this drain upon the society as a whole continue?

From local coffee shops to the steps of state and federal buildings you have citizens fighting each other over what really? Convoluted party lines? Are the parties really just feeding our competitive fires between each other in hopes that we really never look at the big picture, stop and say enough?

Each electoral cycles sees billions spent in election campaigns to keep the mega corporations achieving record profits while the backbone of the country is eroding at a varying pace. We are seeing greater and greater divides between the haves and the have not's and not all can be explained away by lack of effort or sweat equity.

I am not a Union man, I think the unions have eroded over the years to just another profit generator for those in control of said union. But the fundamental principles of a union, those I can agree with. But that would be my vision of a backbone of a government instead of a opponent or in some cases a partner with it.

The more I internally ask the questions, the more I think why the hell do we continue to accept it. Why do we chose to embrace one corrupt party over another? Can it really be because we are too timid to challenge either for a better option?

Or have they truly won.. they have divided a nation for their own self preserving good?

Edited by user Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:09:18 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Porforis  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:09:34 AM(UTC)
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Many of the founding fathers would embrace a two-party system with a divided country specifically because public opinion rarely makes for good policy. By having a country of divided people, we're much less likely to see massive damage done in a short time period.

That being said, our current parties are a joke and adding one or two more major parties wouldn't hurt.

Personally, I think people just aren't educated enough and involved enough in politics to see past the rhetoric. Just try to have a political discussion with a random stranger live or on the internet, and see just how closed-minded and worked up most people are. PackersHome is certainly the most rational place I've had political discussions on, but that's not to say that there still aren't people that are particularly extreme and more interested in blaming a specific person or party than talking about the actual issues (which neither party is doing a good job of fixing) and how to fix them in the real world, not just an ideal world.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:15:35 AM(UTC)
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Is it true that Presidential candidates can't spend their money to fund their campaign, but rather money donated? This seems like a major conflict of interest to me. Big Corp A donates millions to your campaign because you'll give them tax relief, ... obviously its not that cut and dry, but the principle stands.

It seems very slanted to me. The campaigns should be fined for saying something negative about the other party. They should each have 30 second commercials back to back of their opponent and spend equal amounts for their campaign. Who has the damn time to research both of them equally to find out the truths? It's annoying how everything seems to have a slant or an agenda.

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Offline Pack93z  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:16:04 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Porforis Go to Quoted Post
Many of the founding fathers would embrace a two-party system with a divided country specifically because public opinion rarely makes for good policy. By having a country of divided people, we're much less likely to see massive damage done in a short time period.


Agreed in the historical nature of it and fundamental design.. but like any other facet of society it is going to evolve and being human nature start to be driven by greed.

And we over the centuries have allowed that to morph into the party dung we have today.

The founding fathers had a mechanism in place, amendments, to allow for change in the constitution due to growth and need. I firmly believe they thought we the people would be able to keep the candidates in check.. we have failed to do so.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Wade  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:31:06 AM(UTC)
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Why have we let them?

I blame public education, sucky parenting, and higher ed.

I can't speak to the generation before mine, but we now have three generations working on four (boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen whatever today's primary/secondary school kids are called) who have had shit education about civic responsibility, the nature of the American Experiment (Madison, Jefferson, federalists AND anti-federalists, Tocqueville, the Stamp Act and the tea party, Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke).

And the people teaching the teachers -- they are equally ignorant. What passes for "intellectual" conversation in my lifetime? Sarah Palin, Cornell West, Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, NPR, and FoxNews/CNN talking know-nothings.

Anyone who has even basic training in rhetoric and logic should be able to identify and ignore empty or contradictory speech. Yet we're all captive of Madison Avenue. We saw Reagan as the Great Communicator (when he was nothing more than a B-movie actor speaking to our prejudices, and we think Obama a great orator when he hasn't said anything but babble since he hit the national stage. (Ted Kennedy gave a better speech and one with more content than the one everyone salivated over at that Democratic convention where BO "burst on the scene."

That's why I have a hard time being optimistic about this country.

The Founders were far from perfect -- some still believed in slavery, and far too many were federalist types, and by today's standards Sam Adams and Tom Paine might be labelled terrorists. (Today's Tea Party gets jeers, sneers, and put-downs as "dangerous," but they would be altar boys and flower girls next to people like Adams and Paine.) But at least those founders were well-educated and seriously literate.

And they were so regardless of their background. Paine, for example, was educated as apprentice to a corset maker and was a failed merchant. Yet his Common Sense (which gets mentioned in virtually every high school American history course but which neither the high school students nor their teachers nor their teachers' teachers have ever read) is better written and is more thoughtful/logical/well-argued than 90 percent of the writing by PhD's in economics, political science, and economic/political philosophy or by 99% of the editorialists of the New York Times or by 99.9% of the morons who opine on Fox and CNN.

I hang out here in "Random Babble" because you all give me hope that there are still thoughtful and careful thinkers out there in America. But, and I hate to say this, even though we of Packers Home regularly have conversations that quality-wise are probably two standard deviations above the national average, we aren't in the Founders' league.

So why do the Two Empty-of-Thinking Parties have so much power, Shawn?

Because we're a nation made up of three-plus generations of ignoramuses ignorant even of the extent of our ignorance.
None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
thanks Post received 2 applause.
zombieslayer on 9/11/2012(UTC), Pack93z on 9/11/2012(UTC)
Offline Porforis  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 9:20:03 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
It seems very slanted to me. The campaigns should be fined for saying something negative about the other party. They should each have 30 second commercials back to back of their opponent and spend equal amounts for their campaign. Who has the damn time to research both of them equally to find out the truths? It's annoying how everything seems to have a slant or an agenda.


That really would have little to no impact, unless you say that private organizations that run ads should be held to the same standards, which I think would be a major attack on free speech. I hate the constant negative ads just as much as the next guy, but forcefully removing the negative only gives us different problems and makes it a lot easier for sleazy candidates to hide from the public. Just like any other form of speech we don't want to hear, we're capable of ignoring it (not that it isn't still annoying but it helps).

Overall, you're in the same boat as the vast majority of Americans: Too busy working and in many cases taking care of a family to do your own research regarding candidates. So, we rely on slanted and obviously biased media, and political ads to tell us who the candidates are and what they stand for. And this gives us a terrible idea of who they are and what they stand for, and what they will do when they get in office.

There's no real easy fix to that, all I can really recommend to people with limited time is to expose themselves to a varied media selection. Get your news from CNN and Fox on TV or on the internet, listen to talk radio, read a liberal newspaper. You'll get slanted political bullshit and selective memory from their "journalism", but at least you'll get it from both sides. And if both sides agree on something, chances are it's true.
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Offline Pack93z  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:16:44 AM(UTC)
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Brutally honest.. I don't want to vote this cycle. I literally want to do things, with recent law changes, that would get me arrested. lol. But honestly is there a candidate worth voting for? If so.. please advise why?

I feel like a fish looking out to the world from behind the glass trapped within my own contains.

I don't see how, without radical change, that we take control of this country back.

Neither of the Party options present a solution in my eyes.. they are options though. Yahoo it is a democracy.

To be fair.. I have only read two thirds of Ryan's plan.. maybe the answer is in the other third and will somehow magically cancel out the other two thirds. Face. Palm.

Edited by user Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:54:14 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:35:37 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Brutally honest.. I don't want to vote this cycle. I literally want to do things, with recent law changes, that would get me arrested. lol.

I feel like a fish looking out to the world from behind the glass trapped within my own contains.

I don't see how, without radical change, that we take control of this country back.

Neither of the Party options present a solution in my eyes.. they are options though. Yahoo it is a democracy.

To be fair.. I have only read two thirds of Ryan's plan.. maybe the answer is in the other third and will somehow magically cancel out the other two thirds. Face. Palm.



The thing with plans is ... do they ever get fully implemented?

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Offline Pack93z  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:09:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post


So why do the Two Empty-of-Thinking Parties have so much power, Shawn?



Wade - so please advise how we change that?

Internet kill switch, bans on peaceful protests. The withering of our constitutional rights by both parties over the past couple of decades.

Lesser of the two evils approach has failed.. neither is interested in the betterment of this country as a primary objective.

Have become slaves to the two parties?

I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:13:22 PM(UTC)
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I would HATE to be the President who flips the internet kill switch. I almost guarantee they will not be re-elected. Has there ever been something similar done before?

The internet fuels THOUSANDS of businesses ... wow ... just the thought of the uproar is borderline frightening.

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Offline Pack93z  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:21:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
I would HATE to be the President who flips the internet kill switch. I almost guarantee they will not be re-elected. Has there ever been something similar done before?

The internet fuels THOUSANDS of businesses ... wow ... just the thought of the uproar is borderline frightening.


Ask yourself this.. have they ever had the ability before?

Can't use what isn't there.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Wade  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:24:46 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Wade - so please advise how we change that?

Internet kill switch, bans on peaceful protests. The withering of our constitutional rights by both parties over the past couple of decades.

Lesser of the two evils approach has failed.. neither is interested in the betterment of this country as a primary objective.

Have become slaves to the two parties?



I am increasingly convinced that there are only three possible routes to change:

1. Actual revolution, violence and all. Frankly, I think this is more likely than the other two. But, unfortunately, because we're a nation of ignoramuses/zombies, that route will follow the French example rather than the American -- which means we're in for several generations of revolutions, autocrats, feudal-style oligarchs, Committees for Public Safety, etc. That is, the American experiment will end, and won't be repeated in our lifetime.

2. Constitutional convention. This is where I thought the Tea Party might have headed at some point, had it not been co-opted by the GOP and the usual suspects of PACs, PR departments, influence peddlers, and the like. Add in the fact that the only discussions of constitutional conventions in the last 20 years or so has come from one-issue ideologues (e.g., pro-lifers of a particular sort), and the 3-gens-of-ignorance, and the chance of this reduces to virtually nil. Constitutional convention will either be co-opted by those same influence-peddling power-mongering cynics, made still-born by the know-nothing media labelling them as fringe wackos, or degenerate into revolution of form #1.

3. A significant fraction of the votes cast in national elections go to neither GOP nor DEM candidates. I'm thinking a minimum of 10% and probably needs to be closer to 20 percent. Those other votes don't have to win the election, but they have to be big enough to deny real "democratic" legitimacy to the winners. Only half (or less of eligible voters) are voting now, but as it stands, the winners can always claim close enough to 50% of the votes cast to claim a "mandate" for this year's version of more-of-the-same-shit.

But if the two main candidates are splitting 80% of 50% of the eligible electorate, that means the winner is only going to be able to claim the support of one-fifth of the adult population.

That will do two things. First, it will drive home the completely undemocratic nature of the system we're operating under. Second, it will make it easier for people to run/participate in political life in opposition to both parties. The ending argument "third candidates" always get is "you can't compete with the two big gorillas" to get enough of the vote. But this would allow those third party candidates to say, "sure, if the goal is to get 50 percent of the vote. But I don't have to get 50 percent of the vote, only 20.1 percent. Because that's all your so-called big gorillas can control.

This third to me offers the only real hope for meaningful change without revolution. And that hope is pretty slim.

If I had any meaningful financial assets to invest, and wanted to maximize my possible wealth 10-40 years out, I'd split them half and half. And then I'd put one half into investments that will prosper during a revolution, and the other half into the companies/organizations who I think are most likely to be headed by the controlling after-the-fall oligarchs.

And, no, I don't know what those investments are. Maybe whoever youI expect to win in the current Google v. Apple v. Amazon v. Facebook battle; more likely whoever wins in the next bloodletting battle between giant enterprises AFTER that first megabattle is resolved. And I'm betting most of them are going to be located outside the boundaries of the USA and Western Europe, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are outside the usual China suspects, too.

I still believe that this era offers unprecedented economic opportunity because the primary constraint is the supply of human ingenuity, and there's a lot -- a lot of a lot -- of that around if we could only realized it and put it into play. And I absolutely believe that the American Experiment, even with its federalist bent, is the greatest single political innovation in human history.

Where I despair is that we simply don't have the intelligence/understanding to follow our founder's wisdom. Because we don't even remember or recognize anymore what that wisdom was.
None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline Wade  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 3:41:14 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
I would HATE to be the President who flips the internet kill switch. I almost guarantee they will not be re-elected. Has there ever been something similar done before?

The internet fuels THOUSANDS of businesses ... wow ... just the thought of the uproar is borderline frightening.


The internet actually fuels millions of businesses, not thousands.

But that is, IMO, largely irrelevant. Because the politicians atop the two major parties aren't determined by whether those millions of businesses (most of them "small") are pissed off or not. The big ones they can simply bail out a la the banks and GM. And the small ones they can ignore.

But they're irrelevant especially because those politicians in the end have designed themselves to appeal to the attention spans of gnats (i.e. the typical American consumer). And there are tens of millions of those.

You, and I, and those internet businesses, we're just a bunch of geeks. The parties are a group of oligarchs who treat geeks the way a sweatshop owner treats its employees.

Yeah, Google and Apple can mobilize things a time or two. But Google and Apple are just proto-oligarchs trying to control the battlefield for their particular monopolistic, oligarchic vision. Ask the Chinese whether those "voices of the internet" are part of the solution or part of the problem. Ask the Chinese whether they are a force truly willing to resist those who wish to control the internet. Or merely just a force to take that control for themselves.

Oligarchs worry about other oligarchs. They could care less about the peons. And most of us who are dependent on the internet. We're the definition of the best kind of peons. We are peons who think we actually matter to those at the top.

Hah.
None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 5:25:07 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
The internet actually fuels millions of businesses, not thousands.

You do understand I know this probably better than most and being technical deviates from the point, right? Okay, thought so. Duh!

I'm going to plug my fingers in my ears and ignore the rest because obviously you think I'm a damn idiot.



(curls in corner with binkie)

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Offline Porforis  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:22:01 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Brutally honest.. I don't want to vote this cycle. I literally want to do things, with recent law changes, that would get me arrested. lol. But honestly is there a candidate worth voting for? If so.. please advise why?


If you don't like either candidate, why are you even considering not using your vote? A writein for "None of the Above" is just as valid as voting for a candidate with a chance to win if you're not interested in either candidate winning. If people would stop voting for people they really don't like just because he's not as terrible as the next guy and would instead choose to use their voice in a useful manner, both parties would snap to attention. They'd still be self-serving politicians, but they'd at least be more interested in pandering to YOU, and less to the extremes on either side.
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