The Cid wrote:I'm not talking about some mythical good old days.
Then what do you mean when you say "restore decency to politics" exactly?
Deacon wrote:"It's always been this way" is no way for something stupid to continue.
You're begging the question. Or propping up a straw man. Not sure which. Either way, nobody has argued that.
And at some point you're going to have to recognize that if someone wants to use their governmental power to force your life to change in a way you believe to be detrimental then you will easily accept that person as an enemy, as someone working contrary to your benefit, who is not concerned with your well-being. And when that person is ferociously pursuing a plan that you feel will drive the entire country down a few notches (if not into the ground), that becomes a lot bigger than just personal. Eventually, despite a decent contingent of loyalists, Americans decided that England had become their enemy, to the point where they took up arms, fought, and laid down their lives to fight that enemy. But "enemy" is not a cliff, a binary condition where one goes from not an enemy to a creature clawing at your throat. It's a progression, something you can have in degrees.
The real problem, I feel, is not in our recognizing that the vast majority of politicians--especially on the national stage, and especially in the Oval Office--are generally egocentric megalomaniacs working the system and playing a deep game toward their own good on the strength of the special interest groups rather than passionately pursuing what they feel will prosper the country the most in the long term and campaigning honestly on what they believe that course should be. Instead, the problem is when we attach that same level of slimy evil to those of our peers who simply believe differently than us. It's true that an alarming number of citizens meet or exceed that level of slimy evil by demanding that those who succeed give up what they've earned in order to give them free stuff, voting themselves money from the treasury, government-enforced mugging, the closest thing to proper "theft" that CS22 keeps going on about. But it's also true that some of your peers simply have different personalities, world views, and no matter how much you think their beliefs are naive, harsh, ditzy, lacking compassion, or whatever else, many of them really are approaching it according to what they really and sincerely believe (at the time) the best way forward happens to be.
We hope that everyone changes at least a little as they grow older, wiser, more experienced, but there are only really two ways we can fail: 1) refuse to acknowledge when we've been wrong, to choose dogma over reality, and 2) personally attack our peers who sincerely disagree, which generally just leads to trench warfare.
If you try to apply can't-we-all-just-get-along strategies to political campaigns, you're not going to get very far, because of who we are as creatures in general and Americans in particular. The aggressor, when they play their cards right, will almost always win. I really hope the meek inherit the earth, because when they do I'll push them down and take it from them. I heard that somewhere, and it's true. It's not a question of culture, it's a question of nature. That's how the world works, from flowers to fish to lions to men.
And that's why I can't stand Obama. I continually get the feeling he thinks he's cleverer and more persuasive than he is and that I'm incapable of seeing it. He is that slimy evil. The few things it seems like he's not buying votes with are those things that seem to be leading the country face-first into a pile of shit. I don't like Romney all that much, but even if he's not my ideal candidate he's a lot closer than Obama.
Personally, I get a little nervous when I see what are allegedly two opposing candidates getting along like old chums
The Cid wrote:Another election notelet: Want to know the greatest thing about being a Libertarian? Until a real one is actually put in something close to a position of power, all my ideas exist entirely in theory, and thus have not failed in real life yet. Until they inevitably do, I get to pretend I might actually be right about stuff!
Have there really never been a freedom-minded society? Or has it been only pockets of people throughout history who successfully looked after their own selves? The concepts are sound and have been shown to be largely successful. And when it fails, it errs on the side of freedom rather than fascism, which just plain sounds better to me.
Unfortunately I think it'll take a true global disaster to force humanity (or at least America) to choose freedom. It's dangerous--above and beyond the disaster itself--because you never know which way the mob will tip, whether they'll fall onto the grassy fields of freedom or the boulders of fascism. When you're afraid, you don't always reason things out so well or thing very long term.