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A question for liberals and conservatives...........

 
 
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 03:47 pm
As a relative newcomer to this board, it took me a while to get up to speed in matching the animosity of some of the posters here. With that said, I recognize that many of us become pretty passionate about which candidate will win the presidency in November. But what happens after that?

My question is this: When does criticizing become undermining? For example, I strongly disagreed with the tactics of some arch-conservatives who continuously attacked Clinton throughout his terms, especially when they questioned his military actions. I didn't agree with the attacks on him about his decisions to take the US to war in Kosovo or Somalia. I also thought the constant speculation about Vince Foster and the FBI file issue went too far and diminished the Clinton Administration's integrity throughout the world, to the detriment of the US.

Or do some of you think this constant barrage made the US stronger?

We will always have anarchists amongst us, from both sides of the political spectrum. Many of them will post here. But disregarding the posts of right-wing or left-wing extremists, how should those who consider themselves moderates react?

What if Bush wins, will the continuous attacks on him after he is sworn to a second term help or hurt the US in the eyes of the world?

What if Kerry wins, will the continuous attacks on him after he is sworn in help or hurt the US in the eyes of the world?

Or do attacks from the opposing party strengthen our democracy? Is it necessary to always 'question authority' regardless of that authority's political views? To what extent should that questioning go?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,245 • Replies: 60
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:04 pm
So long as the man's policies run counter to what is, in our eyes, to the good of the nation, we are honor bound to criticise and attack as necessary. Otherwise, we are not doing our best for the nation.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:08 pm
I think criticism comes with the territory. It doesn't really matter who gets voted in, the arguments and accusations will still fly. Americans have a fascination with building people up and then watching them fail. Americans are not the only ones who share this attraction to idol-killing, but they certainly are good at it. The whole idea of it undermines the actual job of world leaders, IMO. I wouldn't want to see a world where the public loses it's right to criticize the policies of their voted official, but the demonizing and deflecting from real issues, from both sides, is getting tired.
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Lash Goth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:14 pm
Much as I like Edgar, I disagree with his opinion here.

We are embroiled in rampant, thoughtless, knee-jerk politics, which is damaging our country--and I'm not speaking of criticism of the current President.

When our media is driven by such ridiculous sidebars as either man's service, their children, and nit-picky BS--we lose the ability to force public policy that MATTERS. The candidates for the Presidency should be forced to detail their plans, and their resume. We are now driven by Entertainment Politics.

There are many vital issues that have been swept aside. I believe the bulk of the electorate--Dems and GOPers--agree on what the dialogue should be, but in this hate-filled climate, both sides forget what they have in common, and fall in line with the division, the talking points, and want to win at the cost of everything else.

We've been falsly divided, when we are mostly similar. We are losing.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:17 pm
I'm not suggesting we pursue such mindless issues as who did what 40 years ago. I specifically said we are duty bound to criticise when issues run counter to what is best for the nation.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:20 pm
I actually think Lash Goth and edgar (and myself) agree, if I'm reading things right.
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:24 pm
I think LG has a point. We have gone beyond criticism to mindless destruction. This is IMHO a tactic that is particularly common to the Republicans at the moment although elements on the left can match them smear for smear.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:33 pm
I suppose the question is, in this age and time, how do we, the public, go back to influencing respectful criticism of potentially destructive policies and discouraging smear tactics in campaigns? It seems to me that the average US citizen will just go with whoever puts on a better show, and the nastier it is, the higher the ratings, and the voter turnout.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:33 pm
Yes, LG got that right. Neither side is blameless.
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Lash
 
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:47 pm
cavfancier wrote:
I suppose the question is, in this age and time, how do we, the public, go back to influencing respectful criticism of potentially destructive policies and discouraging smear tactics in campaigns? It seems to me that the average US citizen will just go with whoever puts on a better show, and the nastier it is, the higher the ratings, and the voter turnout.

Cav poses an incredibly important question, IMO. How do we force change and get back to effective public discourse, as people working for positive change, without falling prey to partisan divisions? A populist party?

I think the polling for the media reflects the public's basic mistrust of their agendas--and their utter failure in keeping important issues on the forefront of the news.

They know we hate them (at least in general. I think they poll down there with lawyers...)--but they need to know why. We should be getting in depth investigative reports of how our money is spent, which accusations (policy, not personal) are correct, and which are false.

They have the responsibility to INFORM the public, but they either front their own political agendas (on both sides), or cow to the lowest common denominator for ratings, or subcriberships. They are no longer (IMO) serving the public, but serving themselves.

In this climate, I think the country is ripe for something completely different. I mean, who is for campaign reform? Who wants a good solution for healthcare? Who wants to see real measures toward sensible stewardship of our resources?

(Sorry for flipping personas. I had an account snafu, due to an e-mail change. Lash Goth and Sofia are now just Lash.)
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:49 pm
lash
OH MY - blush
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Lash
 
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:55 pm
?

What up, Husker? <me--quizzical-like>
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DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 04:59 pm
Re: A question for liberals and conservatives...........
A Lone Voice wrote:
I didn't agree with the attacks on him about his decisions to take the US to war in Kosovo or Somalia.



o.k., this is a nit pick, but kinda important;

the marines were sent to somalia not by clinton, but by george h.w. bush in december of 1992.

i agree with most of what lone voice brings up here, at least in terms of how the media reports and how the sides tend to focus more on vitriol than issues.

but also, as said, passions do run high in politics. it is hard to sit still when things are not going in a direction you believe in. my loyalty is to the country, not any single president, party or cleric.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 05:10 pm
Ahh, I knew it was you Sofia. I am an outsider to the US political arena, but I have always supported the idea of a third party candidate, if viable. I think the US needs some fresh perspective, so to speak.

I think both the GOP and the Dems rely on general complacency these days. I would go so far as to say they depend on it, and assume that the general voting public are morons who won't bother researching real issues, or who can be distracted easily by useless mudslinging. For example (and it's just an example), what exactly do Bush or Kerry's war records have anything to do with how one candidate would be better suited to run the country than the other? The entire thing is a smokescreen. Don't tell me the argument goes to the 'integrity of the man'. That is another diversion. What exactly does it mean to 'govern' a country?

[v] direct or strongly influence the behavior of; "His belief in God governs his conduct"
[v] bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulations; "We cannot regulate the way people dress"; "This town likes to regulate"
[v] exercise authority over; as of nations; "Who is governing the country now?"

I am no anarchist, but given these definitions, is it going to be 'choose your poison' or educate yourself and find someone who truly represents the will of the people? Rhetoric, really. I am scared that at this point, we have gone beyond fathoming that kind of a system, at least outside of A2K. :wink:
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 06:00 pm
So I am guessing that you intend to disregard posts by anarchists. Rather sad really and indicative of a lack of knowledge of political philosophy. So say we start with the Code of Hammurabi quite a few centuries B.E. from whence we got such ideas as "an eye for an eye' codified. Moving forward we come to such political ideas as Plato and Aristotle that we have taken as a model for democracy in which actuality demonstrates that some 300 land/slave owning men out of a population in excess of 300,000 constitued "democracy". Try reading Plato's Republic and come away with any sense of fairness or equity towards the common man/woman/child, you can only shake your head in shame that this is what we emulate as "political thinking." Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on thousands of years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners. Governance has been and continues to be the major means of protecting wealth rather than advocating for the well-being of society.
BTW I am the resident anarchist, so may want to just skip over any of my posts in the future.
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Olen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:31 pm
What would the winner do?
If Karry wins, he will travel a crooked path from one problem to the next without making decisions.

If Bush wins, he will continue his straight as an arrow technique from one problem to another, bringing them to justice.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:38 pm
Olen, did you know your avatar was fake, composed hours after the actual event? just curious. That's kinda what some of us see as a Bush sorta thing.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:52 pm
Bush, straight as a arrow. Hmm.
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Olen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:55 pm
Faked events.
Kerry had a cameraman photograph events after the fact to make them appear as he wanted.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 08:57 pm
quick thinking Olen, avoidence often is successful.
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