Midterms 2010

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Midterms 2010

Post  Mr. Pearse on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:28 pm

I thought I'd turn to a topic which in many circles (but not mine) is considered the antithesis of intellectual debate, and that is politics.

Is the country on the right track or the wrong one? How did you feel in 2008, and how have these beliefs developed on the eve of 2010? Is the Tea Party for real, and/or are we all doomed?
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Re: Midterms 2010

Post  Jessamine Blake on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:15 am

Unfortunately, I think citizens' disappointment with Obama and a Democratic Congress is going to give the Tea Party more fuel than it would otherwise have had. The economy still sucks, and that's one of the key issues the Tea Party is concerning itself with. What worries me is the "family values" part of the Tea Party's agenda. Because somehow I feel that the phrase "family values" will mean something more along the lines of "conservative, traditional Christian values," and I don't see how that's going to help further the pursuit of equality for the LGBT community, lower the number of violent crimes against women, or reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. All of which are issues that concern me.

Of course, I'm screwed either way, because odds are if someone gets elected that I agree with fiscally, I will hate everything they stand for morally. And vice versa.

And yes, the Tea Party is for real. And they have a terrifyingly good chance of actually getting their way in elections, because believe it or not the average Tea Party voter tends to be more educated, better informed, and more motivated to participate in politics than the average American voter.

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Re: Midterms 2010

Post  Samuel Kircher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:51 am

I've never been quite sure where to place the Tea Party on the scale of conservatism, with 1 being Joe Lieberman(who I think is a conservative at heart, despite being an Independent), and 7 being the Beck/Hannity/Limbaugh/Coulter/North camp...ideas on that, anyone?

A good indicator of any party's effectivness is how vocal they are, and the Tea Party isn't lacking in that area.

I'm quite concerned with the race for Georgia's governor, with Deal v. Barnes. Neither is fit to run this state, IMO, but I guess this is yet another "lesser of the two evils" vote.

I've come to realize that healthcare reform is another major concern of mine, due to my preexisting medical condition which will most likely require some form of lifelong treatment or another (unless gene therapy gets farther along in development, and cheaper). Its a big indicator of who I'll vote for. Then again, I've always been confused by the idea that people should pay for healthcare. The way I see it, if we have a right to "Life, liberty, and property" (NOT the pursuit of happiness, it's nowhere in that document), then under that "right to life" should also include the right to preserve that life, and maintain the highest quality for that life, which means(by my estimation), the right to get treatment for any ailment(that you didn't cause yourself).
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Re: Midterms 2010

Post  Mr. Pearse on Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:25 am

Kircher, knowing your political history as I do, that post comes as a mighty shock. It's a good shock, though.

Well, the day is upon us. I predict (contrary to all pundit projections) that the Democrats keep both houses. You heard it here first.

Of course, since I also plan to get hammered like nobody's business, I'll be happy either way. Just much, much less happy one way than the other.
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Re: Midterms 2010

Post  Samuel Kircher on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:20 am

I suppose college and attending several Political Science Student Association crossfire meetings throughout my tenure here has realigned my views radically since high school.

I'm glad you're confident in your Dems, Pearse. Even though the pundits are simply glorified hot air balloons, I think the House and Senate are going to see a paradigm shift in the coming week, after the dust settles at the polls. I'm not sure if the GOP has a better idea for this country than the Dems do, but something's gotta change, that's for sure.

Of course, if I had my fantasy, I'd throw all of them out and start anew. Then again, Congressmen/women aren't nearly as blackhearted as lobbyists, so I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too.
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Re: Midterms 2010

Post  Jessamine Blake on Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:13 am

Um, Kircher...if we have the rights to life, liberty, and property, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the government's responsibility to keep our live preserved against illness and of a high quality. I think it's more along the lines of the government preserving our lives against human threats, and the same goes for our liberty and our property.

I mean, if the government is taxed (no pun intended) with giving us all a high quality of life, exactly what does that mean? Because quality of life for most people seems to include health, habitation, food, clothing, schooling, and even recreation. Is it the government's job to feed, clothe, house, educate, doctor, and entertain all of its citizens? Because last I checked it's actually the individual's job to do those things for themselves, that's what being an adult means.

And here's the inherent problem with making healthcare a government issue in the first place (other than the fact that most government healthcare plans completely suck in terms of efficiency and effectiveness): where does the money to pay for that come from? Well, taxes of course. And the collection of taxes has and always will be a fundamental violation of each individual's right to our own property. Taxes are not something we elect to pay, they are forced upon us, and we don't even have a say on how they are used. Would you invest in a company that's trillions of dollars in debt if you were given the option? Well, no, that would be stupid, but nobody gave you the option. It's institutionalized robbery, to be frank. But back to healthcare specifically.

When the government takes away money from one person to pay for healthcare for another, that's a violation of one person's right to their own property in order to preserve another's right to life. And that's if you still assume the government is obligated to protect us from natural causes of death, which becomes quickly ridiculous when you ask the question: where does that stop? If the government is responsible for protecting each person's life against illness (a natural occurrence), are they also responsible for keeping us all from dying of old age (also natural)? The harsh reality of things is that everyone has to die sometime, and that not everyone will live to be 80 or 90 or even 60 years old, and that it's simply not practical to expect a group of people who, for the most part, aren't even educated in economics or business (i.e. Congress) to be able to create a sustainable plan for paying what it would cost to provide effective healthcare for every person in the United States. And that's without even going into a definition of what healthcare must include to be effective.

Now, some would argue that the right to property is less essential than the right to life, in which case I would point towards any government that has adopted policies with that in mind, like the Soviet Union or China. Such governments are usually either economically unstable or lambasted for their many violations of liberty. I would argue that in order to preserve life and liberty from human (including government) threats, the individual's right to his or her property must also be preserved in its entirety.

Sorry, it's a bit of an incoherent rant, but it's 1 in the morning after all and I think I got most of my points over in a semi-readable manner.

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--Fermín de Mendinueta, Governor of the New Mexico Territory, c. 1776.
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