georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 11:17 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Yes, but the government, the government that allowed this to happen!

And on your way to Vietnam. Good grief!


Well it was your government that sent young Australian men to Gallipoli to fight a country (the Ottoman Empire) that had been trying desperately to stay out of what became WWI - all at the behest of a mindless British French attempt to topple the Ottoman Empiure and add its parts to their respective empires. We are still dealing with the bad after effects of that idiocy.

It is important to know the whole truth, not just its currently popular parts.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 11:29 pm
@georgeob1,
George, not that I was around at the time Wink I (& many other Australians) view Galipoli as an outrageous farce & a tragic waste of far too many young lives. Can I leave it at that?

I probably shouldn't have responded to Setanta's post about the Kent State killings. But it was truly shocking that university students were killed on their own (US) soil while protesting about a war their country was involved in.

But I asked for this not to become a debate thread. So people would feel comfortable to post. So I'll try to stick to that & I hope others do, too.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 11:34 pm
@msolga,
What was really pathetic is that it wasn't just the government--in fact, the Federal government weren't responsible, although as political hatreds run, lots of young people liked to blame Nixon. The Governor of Ohio, though, Jim Rhodes, had visions of a run for president, and wanted to appear tough and resolute. So he sent in the National Guard at a time when the situation was really returning to more or less a normal state. Someone had burned the ROTC buildings (World War II era "pre-fab" huts) at the end of the previous week, but it hadn't sparked the kind of situation they were looking for.

The idiot Rhodes, though, assured that there'd be a powder keg by Monday, and a fool sitting there with a lighted cigar. The Guard showed up, and set out to clear the streets, with loaded rifles and fixed bayonets. On Sunday night, some black students who had just come down to see what all the hooraw was were bayoneted (most in the buttocks) as the Guard ran them off. The Guard officers were incredibly stupid, too. On Monday morning, they surrounded the still smouldering remains of the ROTC buildings, for god knows what reason. Some student activists tried to work up a demonstration nearby, but no one was really interested. So the Guard officers, apparently disappointed by the lack of an opportunity to throw their weight around, moved one troop out, and ordered them to don their gas masks (perhaps they anticipated using tear gas to disperse students who weren't actually assembling?). They marched them onto a baseball diamond near the Journalism building, and they were followed by a handful of loud-mouthed, chanting demonstrators, probably not as many as a dozen of them. The shootings would have been much worse, but the clueless Guard officers had moved their troop of Guardsmen out of the center of campus, where what protesters there were were lazily assembling after lunch. Most of the people in the area were students moving between classes.

The Guardsmen had by this time been marched around until they were backed up against the chain-link fence behind home plate on the baseball diamond. They were probably sweating furiously in their steel pot helmets and gas masks. Gas masks make you feel claustrophobic and soon all you can hear is your own labored breathing. No one has ever admitted to firing the first shot, but you can be sure it wasn't a student. Guard officers claimed they didn't order the shooting, and tried to stop it. However, look at the photo below. It was taken by a journalism student in the Journalism building just after the shooting had started, and had now spread to Guardsmen other than those on the baseball diamond. On your left, at the front of this group of Guardsmen is an officer, with his .45 automatic in his hand, shooting. Doesn't look good for the claims the officers subsequently made. You might also note that only a few of the men behind him are firing--most of them are hesitating, most of them don't even have their weapons leveled.

http://obrag.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/kent_state_guardsmen.jpg

Nixon screwed the pooch with an indifferent reaction to the shootings. His press secretary more or less said that this is what you could expect when dissent got out of hand. By the end of the scholastic year about 900 universities and colleges had closed. This incident (which was sparked by the administration's invasion of Cambodia) did more to radicalize the nation than any other single event. It made many people who were previously just liberal into militant radicals. It also hardened the conservatism of many other people.

Jim Rhodes had screwed his political career nationally, although it took him a few days to realize it. He was actually laughing and joking with reporters after the news of the shootings reached Columubus. Within Ohio, however, it actually helped him with conservatives--he eventually served four terms as governor of Ohio. He was defeated on this fifth attempt, though. There is a statue to him outside the James Rhodes state office tower in downtown Columbus, on Broad Street, opposite the State Capitol building. It's a bronze showing a man in a mid-20th century business suit carrying a brief case. Most people who walk past it each day don't even look at it. Forty years on, most people who walk past it don't know who Jim Rhodes was, except that there's a building downtown named after him. Most people in Columbus these days probably only have a vague idea of what Kent State was all about.

Of the four killed, two had been demonstrators, but they were among the great majority who were atually dispersing when fired upon. The two other students killed were simply walking to class, and one of them was, ironically, an ROTC student. Most of those shot and killed or wounded were 100 yards or more away. It's a little hard to see what threat they posed to the Guardsmen. I think that more than anything else, everyone in authority from the Governor on down simply reacted very badly. The odds are pretty good that had the Guard never been sent to Kent State, the demonstrations would have petered out, as they had already done over the weekend before the Guard arrived. But after that event, campuses exploded. Nothing of course, was concerted, because there was no "commie conspiracy" (something a lot of conservatives believed, and may believe to this day)--but it was the largest mass of student demonstrations in the nation's history. Campuses were shut down all over the country, and many students reported going home to parents who told them that if they (their children) were confronted by the Guard, they (the parents) wouldn't care if the Guard shot them. What had been know as the generation gap became an unbridgeable gulf for many millions of Americans.

Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Feb, 2010 11:47 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
By politicized I mean : politically aware or active. What caused you to become politically aware or active?

In terms of being politically active, the answer is "not applicable". I was never politically active beyond the occasional letter to my member of parliament.

Politically aware? I guess it started with regular childish curiosity when I was five years old. I had heard a lot of fairytales where kings did all kinds of drastic stuff such as having all spindles in the kingdom destroyed immediately. This didn't fit the world I was living in -- the king seemed to leave us alone for the most part. So I started asking questions about how our kingdom was run. My mom told me we had no kings in Germany anymore, and showed me a picture of our chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. I remember being disappointed that he was just a regular, elderly gentleman.

My awareness reached the next level when Germany's (classically) liberal party, the Free Democratic Party, ended the coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Germany and replaced Helmut Schmidt with Helmut Kohl. The drama of it all convinced me that politics was an interesting business to follow. I was 13 when that happened.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:14 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
I don’t know if there’ll be much response to a question like this,
but I’m a curious person so I’m asking anyway .....

By politicized I mean : politically aware or active.
What caused you to become politically aware or active?

Was it a particular event that influenced you?
A positive or negative response to the event?
Maybe you inherited your politics from your family?
Media influence, perhaps?
Maybe you read a really persuasive book which gave you an awareness
you didn't have before, say like Silent Spring, years ago.
Or ....?


I’m asking this question of A2Kers of all political persuasion, left, right & “other”.

Could I ask that we not bash others for their “wrong” political views, please?
Otherwise people may be discouraged from participating.
I have always been a defensively minded person, Olga.
I do not remember being so young that I was not defensively minded.
As a kid, I felt threatenend on a political basis by authoritarian collectivists,
in the forms of any variety of socialists or liberals of the left,
e.g. Roosevelt, Stalin, the Kennedys, etc.
I felt, that leftist politicians were conspiring to rape us citizens
out of our personal freedom n that we need to fight back.
I appreciated the writings of the Founders of this Republic,
as well as Adam Smith n John Locke, et al.
In time, I found that some modern (living) folks agreed with my point of vu,
e.g. William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ludwig von Mises.



I did not inherit my filosofy from my family,
who were Roosevelt Democrats, until eventually,
I convinced them to join me in voting for Barry Goldwater n his conservatism.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:34 am
@Setanta,
Thanks for taking the time to post in so much detail, Setanta. Much appreciated.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:41 am
@Thomas,
Lovely post, Thomas. What an advanced child you were! (Just like Deb! Smile )

So, would it be correct to say that you have a sort of informed, detached, but unaligned form of political awareness?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:45 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Very interesting post, David.

One question: how did you persuade these Roosevelt Democrats to vote for Barry Goldwater? That is a huge switch of alignment!
OCCOM BILL
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 12:59 am
@msolga,
I remember kids on the playground arguing about Ford and Carter, and a rather militant group at recess chanting, "Ford is great! Carter is a Fart-er." Laughing (we were 8ish.) Then I remember being somewhat moved by what I remember as Reagan's "Strength" ads... like this one:

A couple friends and I knocked down pretty much every Mondale sign in the city limits, but we were pretty mischievous so I don't know how much that really had to do with politics. I sure hadn't really looked into it yet. Then came Ross Perot, who actually had the nerve to tell the truth about the country's financial condition and sound a warning bell about same. Suddenly I needed to know more and have been paying closer attention ever since; though he's the only candidate that inspired me to actively campaign.

So the short answer is: Ross Perot ran for President.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:04 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
So, would it be correct to say that you have a sort of informed, detached, but unaligned form of political awareness?

Sort of informed: I'm biased of course, but yes -- I think that's a fair description of my politics.

Detached: I'm not sure what you mean: Detached from what?

Unaligned: Again, unaligned to what? I am very aligned to certain principles: Look at the evidence, think straight, remember that politics is about the governed, not about the politicians, that kind of thing. Ideologywise, I am a pretty orthodox classical Utilitarian. I think you can accurately predict where I'll come down on any issue by reading Mill's essay On Liberty and applying its principles to the issue. For example, Mill supported the legalization of opium; I suport the legalization of Marijuana. Mill defended the Mormons' right to polygamy, I support the gays' right to marry. Mill defended public financing of private schools; I support school vouchers. The only reason I'm unattached to parties is that there is no Utilitarian Party. If there was, I'd join it immediately.

Does that answer your question?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:29 am
@Thomas,
Of course I didn't mean you are "sort of informed" politically, Thomas! (Blame poor language usage, the heat & stickiness here today. Just call me Fudge Brain.) I use "sort of" far too much!

By "detached", I meant as in: one who stands back & coolly assesses the available political information & makes a rational assessment on the basis of their own findings. Not following a "party line", in other words.

By "unaligned" - I meant: as opposed to a commitment to a particular party or political movement.

But yes, you have answered (my very) fuzzy question very nicely, Thomas. Thank you for taking the trouble. Smile
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:41 am
@OCCOM BILL,
Very Happy As an 8 year old, Bill, I might have been sucked in by that Reagan advertisement, too! Strength & stability! YES!!!!!! Wink

You sounded like a very naughty boy when you were little! Very Happy

You know, I had to Google Ross Perot to find out more. The name was certainly familiar, but I knew nothing about the details of policy platforms, etc. Interesting. Your preferred candidate till now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Perot
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:46 am
Prior to the 2000 election, I was pretty apolitical. I had views, but I didn't care to stick my neck out.

In early college, I think social issue is what pulled me in, and after examining the major differences in the views of the GOP and Dems on this, I knew I could not support the GOP social agenda.

Later in college, I learned more about economics and my fiscal politics began to take shape. I'm an engineer, so playing numbers a lot I usually would make engineering decisions based on practical and "conservative" figures. Later, I found out that being a "fiscal conservative" was less about fiscal responsibility and more about greed and indifference. I found my fiscal politics cultured more liberally, and I found no real struggle to balance responsibility and practicality into what programs I support.

Post college, I have lived out in DC working in the defense industry. This has exposed me to many diverse opinions on matters of our military. I expected it to be a almost entirely conservative environment, but I found it to be actually quite diverse. I see no conflict with my liberal sensibilities and national defense.

T
K
O
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 01:49 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Very interesting post, David.

One question: how did you persuade these Roosevelt Democrats
to vote for Barry Goldwater? That is a huge switch of alignment!
I successfully argued the value of personal freedom
and that liberalism rests upon a foundation of USURPATION of power, in violation of the Constitution.

In point of fact, there was a Republican election of a delegate
from NY to the Republican Convention in 1964.
Goldwater ran against some liberals for the Republican Presidential nomination.
I drove my parents to the polls in that election, and the Goldwater delegate won by 2 votes.

Of course, the nomination was worthless, with Johnson
benefiting from the residual hysteria from the Kennedy assassination.
Oswald assassinated Goldwater 's Presidential possibilities.
Goldwater knew it in Nov. 1963.
If he had been more Machiavellian, he 'd have withdrawn
and run 4 years later, after people had calmed down.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:11 am
@Diest TKO,
Quote:
In early college, I think social issue is what pulled me in, and after examining the major differences in the views of the GOP and Dems on this, I knew I could not support the GOP social agenda.

Later in college, I learned more about economics and my fiscal politics began to take shape. I'm an engineer, so playing numbers a lot I usually would make engineering decisions based on practical and "conservative" figures. Later, I found out that being a "fiscal conservative" was less about fiscal responsibility and more about greed and indifference. I found my fiscal politics cultured more liberally, and I found no real struggle to balance responsibility and practicality into what programs I support.

Post college, I have lived out in DC working in the defense industry. This has exposed me to many diverse opinions on matters of our military. I expected it to be a almost entirely conservative environment, but I found it to be actually quite diverse. I see no conflict with my liberal sensibilities and national defense.


I'm treading carefully here, Diest, because the idea of this thread was definitely not to debate people's views. But I am very interested in your last paragraph. Not even the smallest bit of conflict about working in national defense, given your liberal sensibilities?

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 06:13 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
I successfully argued the value of personal freedom
and that liberalism rests upon a foundation of USURPATION of power, in violation of the Constitution.


And how old were you when you persuaded your parents, David?
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:10 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
In early college, I think social issue is what pulled me in, and after examining the major differences in the views of the GOP and Dems on this, I knew I could not support the GOP social agenda.

Later in college, I learned more about economics and my fiscal politics began to take shape. I'm an engineer, so playing numbers a lot I usually would make engineering decisions based on practical and "conservative" figures. Later, I found out that being a "fiscal conservative" was less about fiscal responsibility and more about greed and indifference. I found my fiscal politics cultured more liberally, and I found no real struggle to balance responsibility and practicality into what programs I support.

Post college, I have lived out in DC working in the defense industry. This has exposed me to many diverse opinions on matters of our military. I expected it to be a almost entirely conservative environment, but I found it to be actually quite diverse. I see no conflict with my liberal sensibilities and national defense.


I'm treading carefully here, Diest, because the idea of this thread was definitely not to debate people's views. But I am very interested in your last paragraph. Not even the smallest bit of conflict about working in national defense, given your liberal sensibilities?

Don't worry about how you tread. It's not a sensitive topic for me.

I guess I can only speak for myself and my current job. It's perfectly possible that I'd feel conflicted if I was in a different position working on different contracts/missions. In my current position, I am not conflicted.

I guess it's like this. If liberals surrender a part of society such as national defense to the conservatives, then we let the conservatives dictate the terms on the discussion on national defense. I do not like being hands off. I feel that if I see something that I don't approve of or that I think needs improvement, I should use my talents to contribute to it being something closer to what I do want to see. I think it's important for liberals to be involved in military/defense culture, and I feel my views and values are just as important here as if I was anywhere else.

Take a topic like "don't ask, don't tell," or torture, and what I hear is a bunch of conservatives making arguments about how they know better. I don't like being sat at the kids table in an important discussion.

I view my involvement to be a very special part of my views specifically because I didn't have to change my values (as conservatives imply we must) on important topics. I've never been introduced to a fact at work that made me stop in my place and go "wow, I've had it all wrong this whole time."

T
K
O
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:23 am
@Diest TKO,
Thank you very much for obliging me, by expanding on what you'd already said, Diest. I really appreciate that, as I was very interested in your reasoning. I'm much clearer on where you stand now.
As I said, the purpose of this thread is not to debate anyone's reasons for their political positions, so I'll leave it here.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 07:46 am
@msolga,
I grew up in Louisiana in the 70's. The state was entirely Democratic to the point where La doesn't have party primaries so that the best two Democrats could compete in the runoff. (Clearly not that way today.) It was also as corrupt as could be. Money from the oil industry was flowing freely and every p0litician was up for sale. My dad was Republican, so I would hear about it at home and I was a paperboy who at least skimmed the paper cover to cover every day, so I learned about all politics from the Times Picayune.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 08:36 am
@engineer,
Quote:
so I learned about all politics from the Times Picayune.


Well (not knowing anything at all about the Times Picayune - wrong country, sorry) I certainly hope it was a reliable source of information, engineer! Wink
 

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