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Old 2013-03-02, 12:09   Link #521
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I don't see much anti-American sentiment. Nobody has called America evil, nor have any sweeping judgments been made against the nation. Some people dislike what the country is doing and are offering criticism. It doesn't indicate that they're blindly parroting hatred from previous generations, or that they're not thinking for themselves.

This gets back to an issue that was discussed a few pages ago. A lot of us Americans think that we're #1 in the world in just about everything. That pride makes external criticism seem warped. If we are #1 then we are undeserving of any criticism, especially from those who don't live here; any negative sentiments must be blind hatred, jealousy, or trolling. But just as nobody is perfect, there is no perfect nation. Whether we're the closest to perfection or not is a matter of opinion, but we should certainly be able to listen to criticism and consider it honestly, without our pride getting in the way.
Eh, as one of the people trying to defend Americans, I do agree there seemed to be some degree of anti-American rhetoric, at least coming from Vallen (a person I usually find myself agreeing with on these issues). I don't see America as #1 by any means. I'm very grateful for the prosperity and comfort I've been able to grow up with, but there's two sides to that coin. There are serious problems with this country's approach to public health, foreign policy, and quality of life as opposed to just long and prosperous life. Most of my gripes are philosophical, but they're quite real nonetheless. There's certainly something to say about the now aging rhetoric against our material lifestyles. So, with all that in mind, I, as an American, don't like to see statements made that lump us all (or most of us) into a viewpoint that matches our government's actions. Of course, perhaps I misinterpreted something, and if that's the case I apologize.
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Old 2013-03-02, 12:20   Link #522
Triple_R
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It would probably be ideal if people kept these three as separate as possible:

1) American foreign policy.

2) American domestic politics.

3) The American people themselves.


The American people themselves only have so much real say in the domestic policies of their country. A lot of it is determined by political elites, and pre-existing political infrastructure and forms that basically limits where American domestic politics can go.

The American people themselves have very little say on American foreign policy. That's mostly cooked up in secret meetings amongst a very small political elite.


Neoconservative American foreign policy really has caused a lot of serious problems for the world. But that's not something that Joe or Jane Average American has much impact on. When criticizing American foreign policy, it's probably best to focus explicitly on that specifically, and not make it sound like your critiquing America (and its people) as a whole.
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Old 2013-03-02, 12:41   Link #523
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Neoconservative American foreign policy only has an effect on the world, because hey draw power from a conservative Republican base. If Americans can influence enough people out of the base, to stop supporting Republicans, the neocons will lose power. That means separating from Republicans on practically every area that they support. Give them no power at all. Government, entitlements, health care, guns, military, gay marriage, taxes, oil,, etc. Any support for any of these topics on the Republican side, translates to support for the part as a whole... and that means we get the fucked-up foreign policy that screws with other nations.

The Republican party as a whole needs to flop and die. Only then, will a new party get borne out of the old, one that truly represents the good parts. By that point, the Dems will have overreached and gotten lazy. But until then, the racists and extremists and religious nutballs need to learn they are a small minority that should never be listened to. As long as they have their hooks into the party as is, the moderates will never have any influence over them. Moderates have more luck in the Dem party at the moment.

Say it with me: "I disagree with everything the Republican party currently stands for." Note: there are some good things about a conservative stance, but that is not reflected at all in the current R party.

The good news is, the R civil war has started, with Rove's new group vowing to drive out extremist tea partiers, and the tea party vowing to fight back.
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Old 2013-03-02, 12:51   Link #524
mangamuscle
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
The good news is, the R civil war has started, with Rove's new group vowing to drive out extremist tea partiers, and the tea party vowing to fight back.
I do not know if I should laugh or cry, that is the equivalent of Siniestro and Bizarro battling for supremacy, whoever wins, we are DOOMED! I do not mean to say a conservative party should not exist, I have voted for the conservative party in my country all my life, but at the present time the republican party hierarchy is made out of extremists and extreme extremists.

Last edited by mangamuscle; 2013-03-02 at 15:44. Reason: uuh
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Old 2013-03-02, 13:29   Link #525
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Neoconservative American foreign policy only has an effect on the world, because they draw power from a conservative Republican base.
I disagree. Much of the Bush legacy has been continued on by the Obama Administration.

The problem is the military-industrial complex itself, and that transcends both major political parties.


Acting like America's problems are largely, or purely, partisan in nature will only serve to perpetuate those problems. It just makes it easier for each major party to be just as bad, or almost as bad, as the other on a whole range of issue.


Also, I see a lot of Americans on this thread harshly attacking their fellow Americans. Ideally, politics is about achieving reasonable compromises that all sides can live with. Attaching disparaging labels to those who think differently than you do, and then outright trying to disenfranchise them, is not the way to push a country forward.

Frankly, it's very devisive, very mean-spirited, and very counter-productive in the long run. The biggest threat to America isn't anything foreign, it's your own internal divisions.
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Old 2013-03-02, 13:43   Link #526
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Also, I see a lot of Americans on this thread harshly attacking their fellow Americans. Ideally, politics is about achieving reasonable compromises that all sides can live with. Attaching disparaging labels to those who think differently than you do, and then outright trying to disenfranchise them, is not the way to push a country forward.

Frankly, it's very devisive, very mean-spirited, and very counter-productive in the long run. The biggest threat to America isn't anything foreign, it's your own internal divisions.
That's largely what politics are in the US. It's not about getting anything done it's about making sure you bring down the other side. And BOTH sides do it.

I mean I lean towards the democratic side but I think it really is just the lesser of two evils, I am not a fan of either party. The entire political system in the US needs a major overhaul in my opinion.
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Old 2013-03-02, 13:55   Link #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree. Much of the Bush legacy has been continued on by the Obama Administration.

The problem is the military-industrial complex itself, and that transcends both major political parties.


Acting like America's problems are largely, or purely, partisan in nature will only serve to perpetuate those problems. It just makes it easier for each major party to be just as bad, or almost as bad, as the other on a whole range of issue.


Also, I see a lot of Americans on this thread harshly attacking their fellow Americans. Ideally, politics is about achieving reasonable compromises that all sides can live with. Attaching disparaging labels to those who think differently than you do, and then outright trying to disenfranchise them, is not the way to push a country forward.

Frankly, it's very devisive, very mean-spirited, and very counter-productive in the long run. The biggest threat to America isn't anything foreign, it's your own internal divisions.
To a degree, you are right. But you said it yourself, as to where these things started: the Bush Administration. But it is a false equivalent choice between "status quo" and "things getting worse." The R's would make things worse, as they are currently. They must die, and be reborn as a better party that can help make things better. A similar thing happened 20-30 years ago; the D's were pathetic, until the racists left them and then Bill Clinton led them out of the wilderness to an actual budget surplus.

I see this all the time in the media, as they try to portray the parties equally, but you can't do that. You have to be willing to call Bullshit on Bullshit, and right now, that means the R's are MUCH much worse. Don't fall into the media trap of trying to be "fair" to both parties. Yes, the D's have some bad things, and Obama has continued a number of Bush policies... but there is far more to that. There is Obamacare, which while not perfect, is a huge leap in the right direction.

Also keep in mind that, to the rest of the world, America has a Right and a Far Right Wing party. We need to tack left, hard, right now, to get back into balance. That means shunning the far right wing party. As the far right wing party tacks back left(starting to happen with acceptance of gay marriage and pot), the D party will tack even farther left. We need redistribution of wealth to end our income inequality, and the greater taxes on the rich are the beginning of that.
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:02   Link #528
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Neoconservative American foreign policy only has an effect on the world, because hey draw power from a conservative Republican base. If Americans can influence enough people out of the base, to stop supporting Republicans, the neocons will lose power. That means separating from Republicans on practically every area that they support. Give them no power at all. Government, entitlements, health care, guns, military, gay marriage, taxes, oil,, etc. Any support for any of these topics on the Republican side, translates to support for the part as a whole... and that means we get the fucked-up foreign policy that screws with other nations.

The Republican party as a whole needs to flop and die. Only then, will a new party get borne out of the old, one that truly represents the good parts. By that point, the Dems will have overreached and gotten lazy. But until then, the racists and extremists and religious nutballs need to learn they are a small minority that should never be listened to. As long as they have their hooks into the party as is, the moderates will never have any influence over them. Moderates have more luck in the Dem party at the moment.

Say it with me: "I disagree with everything the Republican party currently stands for." Note: there are some good things about a conservative stance, but that is not reflected at all in the current R party.

The good news is, the R civil war has started, with Rove's new group vowing to drive out extremist tea partiers, and the tea party vowing to fight back.
Great post, man.

That's also what I believe that should happen for the sake of the country moving forward with the racists, extremists and nutjobs GTFO for everyone's good. To be honest, I have a strong bias against the Republicans, but I read more carefully about what Eisenhower did during his presidency by keeping the best elements from his predecessors to keep the US moving forward, especially in economics, and I acknowledge him as an excellent President.

On the day the other party is serious enough to bring up something innovative after getting rid of the old guard and replace them with moderates, you'll have 2 hard-working parties bringing up new ideas on a regular basis.
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:16   Link #529
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Great post, man.

That's also what I believe that should happen for the sake of the country moving forward with the racists, extremists and nutjobs GTFO for everyone's good. To be honest, I have a strong bias against the Republicans, but I read more carefully about what Eisenhower did during his presidency by keeping the best elements from his predecessors to keep the US moving forward, especially in economics, and I acknowledge him as an excellent President.

On the day the other party is serious enough to bring up something innovative after getting rid of the old guard and replace them with moderates, you'll have 2 hard-working parties bringing up new ideas on a regular basis.


Eisenhower was a good man, and a good Republican. And it shows you just how far right the country has tacked since then.
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:35   Link #530
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
We need to tack left, hard, right now, to get back into balance. That means shunning the far right wing party. As the far right wing party tacks back left(starting to happen with acceptance of gay marriage and pot), the D party will tack even farther left. We need redistribution of wealth to end our income inequality, and the greater taxes on the rich are the beginning of that.
Personally I'd MUCH rather there be a centrist party, just because I don't like the far right doesn't mean I have to side with the leftist either.
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:38   Link #531
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Personally I'd MUCH rather there be a centrist party, just because I don't like the far right doesn't mean I have to side with the leftist either.
Great idea. We can call them the Repubmocrats!
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:46   Link #532
mangamuscle
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Great idea. We can call them the Repubmocrats!
Call it the BNP (the better new party).
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:53   Link #533
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Actually there is a party that could be considered outside of the left-right spectrum.

We call them Wall Street, political inclination Corporatist.
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-03-02, 15:55   Link #534
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Personally I'd MUCH rather there be a centrist party, just because I don't like the far right doesn't mean I have to side with the leftist either.
You do realize that we need to tack left in order to get back to the center? That even the "left" in this country is still right of center?
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:01   Link #535
ChainLegacy
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You do realize that we need to tack left in order to get back to the center? That even the "left" in this country is still right of center?
I think we need to break out of this right/left paradigm altogether. It's nice for identifying with a group, but my personal viewpoints are all over the place. Lots of 'leftist' and 'rightist' ideas.
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:14   Link #536
kyp275
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You do realize that we need to tack left in order to get back to the center? That even the "left" in this country is still right of center?
Sorry, don't really care how left or right the US compares to other countries on an arbitrary political scale, nor do I see how that really matters.

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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I think we need to break out of this right/left paradigm altogether. It's nice for identifying with a group, but my personal viewpoints are all over the place. Lots of 'leftist' and 'rightist' ideas.
Exactly, I look at each issue individually, just because I may side with one on a particular issue doesn't mean I have to buy into the rest of what they're trying to sell.
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:17   Link #537
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I think we need to break out of this right/left paradigm altogether. It's nice for identifying with a group, but my personal viewpoints are all over the place. Lots of 'leftist' and 'rightist' ideas.
I agree. There are ideas on "the left" that are very good, just as there are ideas on "the right" that are very good. Then there are certain ideas that don't fit cleanly into a "left" or "right" designation at all.

I think part of the problem is that negotiations are being performed between large groups of people. It's easier to form a coalition than to freely go based on ideas; that is, agreeing to support some group and know that the group will support you in turn. That becomes even more critical when you consider that the groups provide funding (among other forms of support) to their candidates. You can try to make it on your own, but any "establishment candidate" is bound to have more resources and a greater chance of winning an election than someone who is fending for themselves. One could argue that the whole point of getting into the position is to make positive change and that selling yourself to the establishment gets in the way of that, but the candidates probably see it differently. In their own ways I'm sure that they're trying to make a difference, even as they work as a part of their establishment.

Another problem with group negotiations is the way that extremism is beneficial. Think about bargaining: it's a standard tactic that you don't make your true offer your first offer. You go for an extreme that the other party isn't likely to go for, but that you'd be pleased with on the off chance that they did. In the end you usually reach a consensus that is somewhere in the middle, but if you had been moderate at first then the other party's extreme position would have granted them more bargaining room. It seems as if the extremes on both sides have reached such a point that it is nearly impossible to find that central area of compromise even when concessions are made.
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:20   Link #538
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It seems as if the extremes on both sides have reached such a point that it is nearly impossible to find that central area of compromise even when concessions are made.
Heh, they probably start with "let's blow each other up with a bomb" and compromised their way down to "let's just torch each other with a flamethrower"
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:42   Link #539
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Sorry, don't really care how left or right the US compares to other countries on an arbitrary political scale, nor do I see how that really matters.
It matters because the more radical you become in any ideology the more detached those theories will be to reality. This applies to anything from capitalism, socialism, communism and even religions. Holding an extreme or fundamental opinion on any of these ideologies is not helpful and people should recognise there are flaws in any extreme way of thinking. Life is not black and white so it is not on to make radical "black" and "white" decisions. In addition to this problem it should also be noted that a person who holds a more radical opinion is more likely to consider their ideology the only possible living arrangement that is worthwhile. At the end of the day people need to acknowledge the flaws and positives of each ideology and use the best of each world. This is how societies advance and mature culturally.

People should also be able to make such open and frank discussions without fear of ad-hominem attacks unfortunately the more extreme people become the more likely they will resort to such attacks to defend the "purity" of their ideas. The lack of co-operation in the US government is a symptom of this radicalisation. In the past I believe the Democrats and Republicans were more willing to co-operate when they held less radical views that was closer to the centre. This needs to change and for that to happen we need to know how off centre these opinions have become.
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Old 2013-03-02, 16:59   Link #540
kyp275
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It matters because the more radical you become in any ideology the more detached those theories will be to reality. This applies to anything from capitalism, socialism, communism and even religions. Holding an extreme or fundamental opinion on any of these ideologies is not helpful and people should recognise there are flaws in any extreme way of thinking. Life is not black and white so it is not on to make radical "black" and "white" decisions. In addition to this problem it should also be noted that a person who holds a more radical opinion is more likely to consider their ideology the only possible living arrangement that is worthwhile. At the end of the day people need to acknowledge the flaws and positives of each ideology and use the best of each world. This is how societies advance and mature culturally.

People should also be able to make such open and frank discussions without fear of ad-hominem attacks unfortunately the more extreme people become the more likely they will resort to such attacks to defend the "purity" of their ideas. The lack of co-operation in the US government is a symptom of this radicalisation. In the past I believe the Democrats and Republicans were more willing to co-operate when they held less radical views that was closer to the centre. This needs to change and for that to happen we need to know how off centre these opinions have become.
I agree with everything you said, but again, I don't see how that applies on an international level in the context of what Kaijo was saying. Remember, he said that the US should swing more to the left because it's to the right of many countries in the world, which frankly IMO is not a good reason by itself to do so.

What's "left" or "right" varies and change with time and culture, shaped by the challenges of the period and technology. There is no absolute scale on which you can measure them by, nor is there inherent value that I can see in a nation forcibly conforming itself to the relative center of its contemporaries for the sake of conforming.
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