Seeking False Purism…. Flaws in the American Mindset

I know, it is Tuesday night and everyone is opening up their browser this morning and expecting the open mic thread that usually greets them on Wednesday morning. I was sitting around reading news on my dinner break tonight, reviewing the different primary races out there, and the status of each prior to election day. It spurred some thought from me so I figured I would offer a quick article around that subject instead of the open mic thread. Fear not though, I will do the open mic on Wednesday night instead of Tuesday. Instead, I want to talk about an article that I read a couple of weeks ago and was reminded of this evening. The article was originally on Fox News. The subject was the fact that despite the deep partisan pitfalls that every voter says that they despise, the elections come closer and middle of the road candidates get thrown out in favor of those that fall further towards the “far” edge of the parties.

Overwhelmingly, when you see polls conducted by many groups, the findings point to the fact that most Americans are tired of partisan games. They despise the far left and the far right equally. And the general consensus is that America would be a better place, and the government would be more effective and efficient, if politicians in Washington worked with their peers on the other side of the aisle. Indeed, during the 2008 Presidential campaign, John McCain went as far as to be labelled the “maverick,” the individual that went against his party when it was called for, who was willing to reach across the aisle and work with the other party in order to do what is best for America.

Take that a step further, and you find that those who believe in each party will applaud a member of Congress who, when the situation warrants, goes against the party they belong to in order to do what is right. It is the unstated expectation. That is, right up until they actually do it.

Then they are a traitor. The two Senators from Maine, both Republican, voted for the economic stimulus bill. And Republicans from the other 49 states immediately labelled them as traitors. RINO’s (Republican In Name Only). They demanded that those two toe the party line. It never dawned on them that those two Senators work for their constituents, who actually supported the stimulus bill. Likewise, there were the Democrats in name only, such as Heath Shuler from North Carolina, who voted against the stimulus bill. And they were given the same treatment. Branded traitors to their party, despite the fact that they thought independent of the party and did what their constituents wanted.

Take that a step further, and you actually have a segment of the Democratic party that the “true Democrats” won’t accept as part of the group: The Blue Dog Democrats. Fiscally conservative Democrats who also are willing to support (GASP) Christian ideals when they feel it is right to do so. Regardless of the fact that these members overwhelmingly vote along the party lines, they are ostracized for the fact that there are rare occasions where they vote with the other side.

I understand why the political leadership in the two parties present these things the way that they do. They serve the party, and the party only cares about party loyalty, not serving one’s constituents. The liberal media will set out to destroy any Democrat that doesn’t embrace the ideals of the far left. The far left politicians will do the same. Republicans are no different. The conservative talk circuit will work to destroy any member of Congress that doesn’t toe the “religious right” line. Obviously the party will do the same.

And when the big players in each party get started, they literally have the ability to push a more fringe candidate forward to take out a more centrist candidate in nearly every instance. One needs to only look at the last ten years for plenty of examples. Democrats hung Joe Lieberman out to dry, claiming that he had moved too far to the center, and financing his defeat in the primary (Joe did get revenge though). This election has seen Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln, two of the more center minded Democrats, hung out to dry, not supported by their party. Specter already lost his primary. Lincoln is now in a run-off in hers. John McCain has been forced to sprint back to the right in his battle for re-election. That claim of working with the other side didn’t help him win the Presidency, and was threatening to lose him even his Senate seat.

My point is that despite the claims from nearly every American that I talk to, the candidates that are successful in races are still those who operate more to the party extreme. Centrist candidates are routinely ousted during campaigns, leaving only party faithful and ensuring more of the same in Washington. The gridlock that exists on nearly every issue simply cannot change until we begin eliminating the folks on the fringe of each side, who dominate the legislature despite being a vast minority in the population (at least according to the polls). Don’t get me wrong, anything that brings the gears of Congress grinding to a halt has been found to be a plus for liberty and freedom these days. So I am not complaining that gridlock happens. I wish we could guarantee it on every single issue and vote.

A Congress that is unable to pass a single piece of legislation would, in my opinion, be found in history to be the most effective Congress ever to serve. The only thing better would be a Congress that spent the entire two year session doing nothing but repealing past legislation. Now THAT would be a Congress that gets the wheels of the economy moving again.

So what does all of this come down to? It comes down to the concept that seems to pervade American politics that a candidate is either a pure member of the party or they are not. It appears that part of the requirements for candidates continues to be whether or not they are a “real Democrat” or a “real Republican.” This seems to fly in the face of information that we garner from the polls that tell us what America wants. And it absolutely baffles me. I have a few ideas of some of the causes that I will share.

The first is that the parties themselves are driving the message to the people (the voters). It isn’t the people that really want a purist view from a party candidate, it is the party. After all the party depends on the elected member to either enable swift passage if they have control or the ability to stop legislation if the other party has control. Because of this, even the slightest hint of “maverick” in a candidate is not enough of a sure thing as far as the party is concerned. So the parties push this idea of philosophical purism. The more a candidate supports the party agenda, the more “pure” the candidate is. And since the party controls fundraising, that means that they can work to eliminate anyone who doesn’t pass the purity test.

Another aspect of this phenomenon is the fact that voters really and truly do not understand the way that Washington works. People here a claim during the campaign that a member voted with their party 90% of the time and think to themselves, “wow, that is a lot.” It isn’t. The vast majority of votes in Congress are not the big issues that we hear about. For example, there were dozens of different votes for different aspects of the health care bill. One could vote with the party the whole way, but vote against passage in the end. They would have thus “voted with the party” 90% of the time. But it was the other 10% that really mattered.

Many voters today would tell you that they are in the political middle. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from folks the old cliche, “I vote for the candidate, not the party.” But that simply isn’t true for the vast majority of Americans. The sheer number of people who vote a straight party ticket would floor you. And an even greater number would vote for the opposing party only if their candidate was overwhelmingly against something they were passionate about. Lump that with the fact that viable third party candidates receive only a fraction of the vote in the vast majority of elections, and it becomes clear that people are still voting with the party, not the person. While the political middle may be growing, it is not nearly as large as it would appear.

So I remain baffled. I have some other ideas about what has led to the fact that the purity tests for candidates still seem to be a part of the election cycle. I will save them for discussion, though. I want to hear what all of you think about this. Why is it that the ideological purity tests are such an important part of the political landscape? Is it purely a party driven thing, or are Americans simply partisan at heart, and not willing to drift towards the political middle when all is said and done? More importantly, so long as this remains the case, is there any hope for an improvement in the ability of government to meet our needs? Or will we continue to simply ride the pendulum as it goes back and forth every 4-8 years?

You can read the article I was talking about above here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/30/ideological-purity-tests-sure-gridlock-washington/?test=latestnews

Comments

  1. Posting for comments, not much time this morning to respond as well as I’d like.

    G!

  2. While this may be a little naive, I tend to think that people vote along party lines because they have certain values they would like to see espoused in government. Jim votes GOP because he wants smaller government (is that a contradiction?), Sue votes democrat because she wants increased government spending. Why would Sue vote for someone saying they will cut spending? Why would Jim vote for someone who would increase spending? The big issues are what gather votes, and sadly are the most polarizing (probably because of the parties, though).

    Then when politicians are elected, the people want to see real progress and character from their officials. I would rather see my politician vote based on what his constituents want rather than what his party does. That is the bipartisanship for which the country clamors.

    I suppose my point is that we vote for politicians who most closely match our political opinions. Since there are two major parties that means one of two choices. Given the way the country is divided, I’m not surprised to see people vote straight party candidates.

    I, for one, despise the two party system and would rather see candidates on the ballot for themselves, not a party. Let us choose the most qualified person, not the most qualified republican or democrat.

    Like that will ever happen…

    • I agree with your take, JB. The way the system is set up right now, when the actual vote comes in, you must make a choice between (generally) R or D. Personally very frustrating to have to vote for someone like McCain, who I felt held minimal common values with me and even the R party (the smaller govt version – not the one that it has become).

      (OK, this little voice has popped into my head……hate it when that happens…..and it’s wearing a black hat and saying, “then don’t vote” or something along those lines.)

      • NO! Vote, definitely vote. Just don’t vote for the two main parties. The don’t vote option sends the wrong message. It might say “I don’t support the system at all”, but it might also say “I don’t care, let someone else run my life cause I am too lazy”. Work with the system you have while you are stuck in it. Nothing will scare representatives more than votes for someone else outside of their click, which includes the other main party.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Captain Jon Smith is correct.

          Black Flag will tell you that voting is imposing force upon others, but it is not. It is self defense. Not voting tells politicians that they have nothing to fear from you and you can safely be ignored and trampled.

          Vote for the third party candidate – only by making a strong third party can you hope to scare the other two into line.

          Baring that, vote for a write-in candidate “Dread Pirate Mathius (I-Thor’s Hammer)”

          • I wonder why the Pirate showed up instead of Matt-is it perhaps the knowledge that voting for third party candidates over the republican, while it is making a statement, has the same effect in reality as voting for the democrat, if the independent has no chance of winning. 🙂

            • Mathius says:

              I’m sure he just meant it as a statement of principle. I’m sure neither of us has the ulterior motive of getting you to waste your votes…….

              ::insert shifty looking emoticon here::

        • Dread,

          Nope. Voting is not imposing upon others if they accept voluntary the outcome.

          Voting is often a good means to determine an action between multiple choices where the differences between the choices are slight.

          In politics, voting has nothing to with this at all.

          Your vote will NOT protect you from “trampling” – in fact, no matter what you vote -Yea or Nay- the act of voting confirms you will be trampled.

          The legitimization of government comes -not from the yea or nay- but the act of merely marking the paper. You have agreed to abide by whatever outcome is determined by the will of others.

          Thus, you cannot protect yourself from the ill will of others by legitimizing the means of delivery of that ill will

          • TexasChem says:

            So in essence what you are saying BF is…Yeah everyone just don’t vote and lets let the libtards get more power in our government to grow even BIGGER government to control more aspects of our life and take away more freedom and liberty.That’s just what we need.More socialist programs so that those of us that do pay taxes can pay even more taxes for those that do not.

          • TexasChem says:

            BF stated:”Thus, you cannot protect yourself from the ill will of others by legitimizing the means of delivery of that ill will”

            TC:If you have a candidate that shares your viewpoint and is not corrupt then how can your statement have an iota of truth?

            • TC
              that shares your viewpoint and is not corrupt

              No such person exists.

              • TexasChem says:

                Have you no faith in humanity?

              • TexasChem,

                Infinite faith in humanity.

                Absolutely zero faith in institutionalization.

              • Not for you, else they would not be a governmental candidate. I get that it is a philosophical inconsistency for you to vote. It is not one for me and others to vote. I do not give legitimacy to a bad representative unless I vote for him. I do not have a problem with giving legitimacy to government itself, because I do not believe in the functionality of a stateless society, thus it would be an inconsistency for me to ignore government altogether.

      • Ignore the black hat and vote. Quote-“Power concedes nothing without a demand”. Your vote is your voice- Use it!

        • Mathius says:

          Sometimes you have to march right in and demand your rights.

          Even if, sometimes, you don’t know exactly what your rights are. Or who the person is you’re speaking to.

          And on the way out, slam the door.

          • Yea, I saw that posted the other day too-took me a moment to get it-but I liked it when I did. 🙂

            • Mathius says:

              It’s a Jack Handy classic.
              ——————————–
              I’ve always been afraid of clowns. I know it’s irrational but I can’t help it. I think it goes back to that time when I was at the circus and a clown killed my father.
              ——————————–
              “You know one thing that will really make a woman mad? Just run up and kick her in the butt. (P.S. This also works with men.)”
              ——————————–
              “Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.”
              ——————————–
              “How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove, and it doesn’t have that dangerous beak.”

              • I have never heard of Jack Handy until you brought up his name. Just read a bunch of his quotes-he has a rather weird sense of humor. 🙂

        • V.H.

          You are not fighting Power by “voting”. You are confirming it.

          You are conceding to Power by voting.

          Test this yourself in your entire life. What vote changed the way government rules your life?

          • You are asking me to do what you say is impossible. I have no way of knowing what would have happened if I hadn’t voted. Perhaps we would be a completely socialistic country by now-with no freedoms. I do however feel pretty confident in saying that my not voting would have furthered policies that I am against. I looked into your idea before. The only benefit I saw of not voting was by countries trying to bring attention to their situations, so that other countries would step in to help them. Perhaps I didn’t research enough but that’s all I found-I don’t see this approach working for the US. So I have to conclude that doing nothing is doing nothing if nothing is accomplished. My way, at the least slows things down and with time comes hope.

            • V.H.

              Do you know or understand the theory of legitimacy and political power?

              • No, not much-other than the argument seems to be based on the problem that giving government legitimacy makes one obligated to obey said power.

              • V.H.

                Yes and no.

                So, this question:

                “Why do you obey government law that says, for example, you can’t smoke in this place –

                but if I said “V.H., you can’t smoke in USWep’s house”, you’d ignore me?

              • Because you are not USWeps representative. Also, you do not have the power to harm me. If you did, then I would not smoke in USweps house because it is not worth fighting over. If you said I could not go and defend USweps life under threat of harm, I would die fighting you.

              • Because the government has the power to make me regret doing so and I know you are really a pussy cat who wouldn’t hurt me. 🙂

              • V.H.

                Ok – so just to be clear;

                Government represents “just the ability to harm you”, so that is why you obey.

                So why do you not give the same attitude to the Mob or your local street gang or murderer?

              • BF I understand your reasoning about government. The fact that their power is different because those enforcing it have the legitimacy of the government to back them up. I also see that many people would also give into the mob or the gang. Both forms of power are dangerous, whether or not we would be better off with a small government or no government may fit into this discussion. But I really see no reason to cover old ground. This discussion was whether or not -not voting would de-legitimize the government. Even if I agreed that it would work-you would first have to convince enough people not to vote.

              • Jon,
                But the government is not USWep’s representative either.

                I DO have the power to harm you. Why do you not think I can come over and harm you?

              • Because you probably could not find me fore one 🙂

                Also, I think I could take you, and I would have popular support. The government is too large and has too much popular support to combat over small issues. Large issues are a possibility because I may be able to get support. More importantly, the large issues are worth my harm or death to fight over, worth the risk.

              • Also, I think I could take you, and I would have popular support. The government is too large and has too much popular support to combat over small issues.

                Ah, but that is the entire point. You would have popular support fighting Black Flag because he would be seen as an illegitimate power. The government has the majority of the popular support as an authority because it is seen as a legitimate power.

                If fewer and fewer people voted, the government would be seen as more and more illegitimate to the point where no one would enforce its laws, and the popular support would be behind those who fought any violent enforcement remaining.

  3. Mathius says:

    Everyone hates pork spending… unless their own representative is the one spending it.

    Likewise, everyone wants bipartisanship.. from the other side.

    ——

    The reason for the extremes is this: primaries.

    The ones who write the checks are the ones on the extremes. The ones who take the time to show up for primaries are the ones who are the most political. Because you have to be a party member to vote, the most political in the party generally means the extremes. So what do you expect to happen? Only the extreme candidates make it through the screening process and then they have to run to the center to try to convince the rest of us that they didn’t mean anything they just said.

    Bah.

    • Well stated Matt. I even find myself reprimanding Libertarians for being crazy extremists and alienating potential voters becuase they are too idealistic. The idealists hold the most sway, they are the ones who start and run parties, they handle the primaries, etc.

      In the absence of a decent guy that makes sense that can get on the ballot without a primary or in a party that he can fool/convince the exteme groups, a party-line buerocrat is the best we will get.

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    “Why is it that the ideological purity tests are such an important part of the political landscape?”

    More and more I think the two major political parties operate more as racketeering organizations – RICO where are you?

    Personally, I have switched from being a registered Democrat to just being Independent.

    Thanks,

    Ray

    • Mathius says:

      There was a push a little while ago to codify the a Republican ideological purity test. There were ten questions and anyone who answered three of them the wrong way was to be refused RNC funding. I don’t think it was ever adopted.

      (1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

      (2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

      (3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

      (4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

      (5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

      (6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

      (7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

      (8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

      (9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

      (10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership;

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_pl996

      Sadly, I think I would fail this test.

      • Mathius

        Actually, I think a litmus test was approved by the national party.

        But I am not sure the list you provided was the test.

        I think it had to do with basically swearing loyalty to the “platform” approved by the party.

        Anyone who has displayed opposition against part of the platform would not get national funding and State and County Parties are “discouraged” from supporting.

        • Mathius says:

          Sounds for a recipe for bipartisanship…

          • Mathius

            Not really. But then perhaps you were being sarcastic?

            I personally have very little use for “bipartisanship”.

            There are few times when it is useful. And those are usually such big things that the votes are not hard to round up from both sides.

            Regardless of the circumstances, the vote to authorize Iraq is an example. It was viewed as a very big deal to our “national” interest.

            Unfortunately, they were wrong. And therein lies the problem with reacting to “public opinion” all the time. It is a fickle maiden.

            I see New Jersey decided to go the incumbent route. When is the NY primaries, or did I miss it?

      • I am a little shaky on 5 and totally oppose 6-8, so I would fail also. That is fine tho, I am no Republican, I would hope I failed their litmus test. 🙂

    • Cyndi P says:

      Yup, Two shirts one team. Their job is to keep the masses agitated and confused while ripping them off…..

  5. USW

    Did you get to see any of the Strasburg debut last night?

    Happened to catch the first 3 innings while at dinner.

    WOW!!!!!!!!

    Now the real test of a MLB Star………TIME.

    🙂

    • Very nice start to his career. Was it 14 K’s? He’s got some good stuff.

      • Mathius says:

        I know! Totally!

        I have no idea what you’re talking about 😦

        • Oh Mathius, man, really? You’re going to give us this opening????

          So just another day here at SUFA?

          (I’ll let others chime in with more…….)

          • Kathy

            Gotta remember he is from SoCal.

            Maybe a girlyman really has no clue what 14K’s means.

            He might be thinking diamond rings or K-Marts.

            Since I can’t relate to the SoCal GirlyMan mentality I really don’t know for sure.

            Now my dear, how is that for swallowing the bait?
            Hee, heee, hee.

            🙂

            • Girlyman-them there are fighting words-watch out the Ninja Matthius is going to show up any minute w/ his special sword. 🙂

              • V.H.

                I am visualizing his “special sword” as something similar to those fold up canes that some blind folks have.

                Or those tent poles that come apart and hold together with “elastic” bands.

                Only the GirlyMan sword is probably held together with Spandex.

                How are you today my dear.
                Hope all is well.

                JAC

              • Mathius says:

                V.H.: Look at JAC, now look at me.

                Now back at JAC, now back me.

                Sadly, he isn’t me.

                But he could smell like me if he stopped using that lady scented body wash.

                Now look around. Where are you? You’re on a boat.

                And what’s in my hand? Two tickets to that thing you love.

                Look again. The tickets are now diamond!

                I’m on a horse.

              • Matt

                That’s a Jackass man, not a horse.

                See what I mean. Damn Girlymen

              • Mathius says:

                It’s actually a noble steed.

                But you would know that, too, if you stopped using that lady scented body wash.

              • Mathius

                If you think that is the smell of “lady” then you’ve been hangin around to many French trollops lately.

                Sorry about the insult to your Jackass. Now that I have my glasses on I see it is actually a Llama.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              • A magical ninja on a horse-well it’s original I’ll give you that. 🙂

              • Kristian says:

                Matt, you watch entirely too many commercials…LOL! But that one is a favorite!

              • I must have missed this commercial but that’s probably because I make a point of doing so.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                So, before Kristen said anything, you just assumed that I was nuts, yes?

                I’m ok with that…

              • I plead the fifth 🙂

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          It is called ‘Baseball’. It might not be in ‘your’ history books.

          I enjoyed last evening watching the ‘New England’ Red Sox hang on to a 3-2 victory over the Indians.

          Can’t believe what that rookie did! 14k!

          • Puritan

            ROTFLMAO…………New England vs the Indians………make it stop.

            It wasn’t just the 14 k’s but the way in which they occurred.

            The three innings I saw was like watching guys swinging bats at bumble bees.

            Haven’t seen anything that dominating since Randy Johnson’s younger years when Mr. Nasty was working at full potential.

            Matt: Mr. Nasty is a splitter in case your mind is reaching for the gutter.

    • USWeapon says:

      I did see the highlights of it, as I was working when the game was on. I had seen him pitch in college. I knew he was going to be something else. His debut was fantastic. But, as you said, now we wait and see. The question is always whether time will allow the hitters to figure him out or whether he has the mentality to be an Ace in MLB. We know he has the physical stuff, now we find out if he has the mental stuff.

      USW

    • naten53 says:

      The test other then time is teams not begining with P and ending in irates

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        HEY!

        That’s not cool, man.

      • USWeapon says:

        True, they have had something like 14 seasons in a row with a losing record.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          OK, fine. Pirates are not good at baseball.. what do you expect? Most of us wear an eye-patch, have a hook for one hand and peg leg…

  6. There is no purity in the mud of politics.

    Both parties represent the same ideal – government force and expansion into all parts of human life.

    There is no saving of this; to counter this means to embolden an opposite ideal and such ideal cannot exist as a goal of government.

    Government cannot support a belief that calls for a retraction of government.

    • BF

      Sure it can. If government is made up of PEOPLE who hold the same value.

      Long shot I know, but it is not impossible.

      I will concede this. The chances of such happening geometrically decrease as you move up the govt food chain.

      Once beyond the “local” level there simply become to many competing interests for the baton of power.

      • JAC,

        The purest and most well presented concept of government and political power is the Lord of the Rings.

        Sure, there were 5 other rings of Power – each for each group of People

        But these rings were given to each group by the Dark Lord – and each group took those rings without realizing the great deception of the Dark Lord.

        The rings were given BY him TO them – and he had the Ring that controlled them all.

        Without the Ring that Binds Them All, they cannot exist. There existence binds them to his ring and they become his slaves.

        There is no escape – except to refuse the rings.

        • Actually, there were 9 rings for Men, 7 for Dwarves and 3 for Elves, but I get your point.

        • TexasChem says:

          So do you think that no society can share the same idealogical, moral, ethical and faith and be true to all members of that society>?

          Is there no person alive that has all the above traits>?

          Partisan vs Bi-partisan.
          Good vs Evil.
          Black or white.
          Good or bad.

          Perhaps a civilized man could identify the traits of natural law which advance the betterment of mankind from all faith and idealogical beliefs.Our very own Constitution was an attempt to do this with a heavy dose of judeo/christian influence.As it stands our nation has developed into THE single most powerful nation in the world for that reason alone!

          Without a doubt our decline as a nation has been from turning away from those basic fundamentals.Does anyone doubt this and need proof?

          • TC:

            So do you think that no society can share the same idealogical, moral, ethical and faith and be true to all members of that society>?

            What fantasy are you believing in?

            No society of human people can have the same ideological, moral, or faith the same for EVERYONE

            People are not ants or insects or flowers.

            Your expectation is your flaw.

            Humans beings are individual and unique. Any system that attempts to destroy this fundamental aspect of humanity destroys humanity.

            Humanity resists its destruction, therefore the system will eventually be destroyed by humanity.

            Sustainable social order is derived by a series of order and principles that promote peaceful coexistence and freedom of action and NOT adherence to some bizarre set of sameness

            Perhaps a civilized man could identify the traits of natural law which advance the betterment of mankind

            It has already – hence why we have civilization.

            Prohibition on the initiation of violence creates civilization.

            It can be universally applied to all men over all times in all geography.

            The last hold out is a belief in government violence – the institution that still claims the use of initiation of violence on non-violent men.

            Civilization is in a death struggle against Government. It is a “winner take all” battle.

            As it stands our nation has developed into THE single most powerful nation in the world for that reason alone!

            It does not rain because you washed your car.

            America is not strong because it is “Christian.”

            Indeed, such a belief weakens it terribly.

            Without a doubt our decline as a nation has been from turning away from those basic fundamentals.Does anyone doubt this and need proof?

            I washed my car and it rained. What more proof do you need?

    • BF

      Also:

      There is no purity in the mud of humanity, might be more appropriate.

      We must play the cards we are dealt. If you always fold, you can not lose, but you also can not win.

      • JAC,

        “Canada Bill” Jones, a infamous Riverboat scam artist and poker player, was found playing in a poker game in some God-forsaken town.

        A friend of his saw him – and knowing the game – called out to him and said:

        “Canada Bill! Why are you playing in that game?! It’s crooked!”

        Canada Bill responded:
        “Yeah, I know. But it’s the only game in this town”.

        …..

        I am no Canada Bill. There are better games then one where everyone is doomed to lose except the game maker.

    • My vote is not an expectation of government support. It is a demand that the government do what I say. They must change to fit my demands, unless I do nothing.

  7. Mathius

    I left you a response late yesterday on property rights. I think it is #44.

    Didn’t want you to miss it. If you like we could pick up the discussion tomorrow on open Mic.

    Or later today if things get S…….L……..O…….W.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      Saw it.. was a little worn out on the subject..

      I understand your point, and for what it’s worth, I’m playing devil’s advocate. I would say that a violation of your rights is still a violation of your rights regardless of whether you know it or not. If you do not know that you have a right not to be stolen from, it is still theft to steal from you.

      In Ye Olden Times, serfs may have believed that the lords had the right to sleep with their brides on the night of their wedding, but this does not make it so.

      So, while the natives may have thought that loss of property by conquest was not theft, it does not necessarily make it so. Thus it is impossible to establish that the indians who sold or were pressured to sell to the settlers had the clear title. Thus it is impossible to prove that they had the right to sell it to you. So, if we cannot prove that you are justified in owning your home, we can go back to my original point.

      The original point, if I can stretch my mind back that far, is that establishing the proper ownership succession of land over a long enough time line is impossible. Therefore, to claim that Israel “stole” the land is unprovable at best. (Remember, the Kingdom of Israel far predates Palestine).

      • Dread,

        Egypt owned the land waaaayyyyy before any “Kingdom” of Israel.

        • Mathius says:

          Egypt != Palestine

          And I think this was posted here before, but I think it’s good for perspective in trying to say who owns the land: http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html

          • Mathius

            *cough*

            How you do this…. disagree with me then provide proof that specifically supports what I said

            I guess you “jumped ahead” past 3000 BCE, right???

        • TexasChem says:

          Long before Egypt “owned” the land it was populated by the Ghassulians 4300 to 3300 BC. From which arose the Semitic culture.Yarmukians 8500 to 4300BC.Natufian 10,500 to 8500BC.Kebarans 18,000 to 10,500BC.Neanderthal any time before then…

        • TexasChem says:

          Egypt was also 3,700 years from becoming indoctrinated with Islamic ideals when they held… (I refuse to call it Palestine any longer to give credence to the fallacy the Muslims portray that their exists a Palestinian ethnic peoples that are not Arabic transplants from Jordan, Iraq and Syria.)…The Levant area! 🙂
          So lets not let people get confused thinking that since Egypt is now a Muslim country and held the land at that time that Islam has rights to it.

  8. Bill Halter ran a very negative campaign, which turns off a lot of voters. He is also strongly union, which also goes against the grain of most Arkansans. And he appears to be a fringe left liberal, which is only appealing to a small segment of the state. What is scary is how close he came to winning, which I credit to anti-incumbent feelings. If he had ran a postive campaign, he probabely would have won with most voters not even checking his leanings.

    Open Thread: Big Labor Takes a Hit in Arkansas
    By NB Staff | Wed, 06/09/2010 – 09:33

    Ben Smith says he was contacted by a “senior White House official this morning” regarding union support for Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s opponent in the Arkansas runoff.

    “Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the official said. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”…

    Lincoln foe Bill Halter had the unstinting support of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME and other major unions. And labor officials Tuesday evening were already working to spin the narrow loss of their candidate, Bill Halter, as a moral victory, but the cost in money and in the goodwill of the White House may be a steep price to pay for a near miss.

    Lincoln is probably a more electable candidate given her state, so should conservatives be pleased at this turn of events?

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/#ixzz0qNPoyDw1

  9. V.H

    Too squeezed…

    BF I understand your reasoning about government. The fact that their power is different because those enforcing it have the legitimacy of the government to back them up.

    Whoa, stop, halt.

    You are attempting a conclusion without any fundamental basis to support one.

    We are meandering in our little walk to help understand what legitimacy means

    You already know that a COP acts as he does BECAUSE of this concept called “legitimacy”.

    The concept you’re struggling with is: How did he get it?.

    You will say: From government.

    I ask: Where did government get its legitimacy

    You say: I don’t know

    It is this last question we are working through.

    • He got it because enough people got together and decided that’s how they wanted it-in other words it was given legitimacy by the people at the time of it’s inception by a big enough majority to carry the day, and the majority has continued to give it legitimacy through all the proceeding years.

      • V.H.

        He got it because enough people got together and decided that’s how they wanted

        Nope. This does not explain dictatorships being government where most people decide this is NOT what they want.

        Other contrary examples that invalidate your point: the vast majority did not want war – they got one; the vast majority did not want Patriot Act – they got it anyway.

        So numbers is irrelevant. “Majorities” are irrelevant. “Time” could be a component, but it -on its own- is insufficient.

        Keep working at it – you’re close…..

        Remember, we are working out “legitimacy” — not ASSIGNING it (as yet).

        • Okay, I thought we were specifying the US but I would have to say some type of power, different government, different type of power.

          • V.H.

            “Power”… what “power”?

            Why not the power of the Mob?

            As you stated, they dominate an area – but no one – not one person – gives them the legitimacy of government.

          • V.H.

            Read this, contemplate my few highlights and then comment, if you please:

            It is a status conferred by the people on [an] institution through their belief that the it’s actions are an appropriate use of power

            “Legitimacy is the foundation of such governmental power as is exercised both with a consciousness on the government’s part that it has a right to govern and with some recognition by the governed of that right.

            It involves the capacity of a political system to engender and maintain the belief that existing political institutions are the most appropriate and proper ones for the society.”

            Something becomes legitimate when one approves of it.

            • I actually thought that was what I said when I posted above-The people have continued to give legitimacy to the government thru the years. They legitimize government by voting and working within the system, whether they do it by choice or by force. I have no disagreement with your argument. I simply don’t believe that some people deciding not to vote will de-legitimize the government. I actually believe people who believe in smaller government will help government grow and make things worse if they sit at home. I don’t believe it is possible to convince the country not to vote-at least not yet. So working within the system is the only choice we have, even if it legitimizes the government. Unless we just want to let people who we disagree with control everything.

              • V.H.

                You did not comprehend my highlights.

                We are NOT discussing the GRANT of legitimacy – we are discussing ITS MEANING and ROOT.

                “conferred by the people”
                “use of power”
                FOUNDATIONAL TO GOVERNMENT
                MAINTAINED by BELIEF

                So let’s dissect your post immediately above.

                Yes, Voting is the way the People confer this legitimacy to government – in fact, it is the only way in modern times to do so.

                You see this where there is a coup in another country – they seize power by force, but even if the overthrow was of a tyrant, the global community withholds legitimacy of the coup until a vote of the people

                The VOTE is the SOLE means the People CONFER legitimacy to Power.

                Why do you think Hitler went dutifully every 4 years to the Riechstag? – to receive the vote in favor of his dictatorship.

                Why do you thing Kim il-Jong goes before the N. Korean people every 4 years? – to receive the vote of the People.

                What did Stalin, Mao, Putin, Lenin, Mussolini, Pinchote, Reagan, FDR, Chavez, Saddam …. all do – dutiful and without ever forgetting?

                Go before the People to receive their vote

                It simply does not matter WHO you vote for – all that matters is THAT YOU VOTE.

                Legitimacy – the fundamental requirement of government MUST be conferred by belief of the People to the Power.

                Withholding the vote is the ONLY manner by which to de-legitimize Power

                While it may be true that it is impossible to get all the People to stop voting – it is equally impossible to change government by voting.

                It is irrational to believe you can change a systemic core of a system WITHIN the System

                ALL SYSTEMS operate and exist by FEEDBACK LOOPS that remove any and all attempts to change the system

                If these feedback loops did not exist, the system would be undone upon the first disturbance and disappear.

                By the fact the system remains MUST MEAN that such FEEDBACK loops exist in place therefore any belief that systemic change can occur WHILE IN THE SYSTEM is wholly irrational.

  10. US places No. 85 — behind Libya and Cuba — in Global Peace Index

    The 2010 Global Peace Index is an attempt to quantify which countries are the most secure and the least violent. New Zealand is No. 1, Iraq is last, and the US is in the middle.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2010/0608/US-places-No.-85-behind-Libya-in-Global-Peace-Index

  11. Bottom Line says:

    Vote for candidate A – Candidate A is elected – Candidate A is an evil liar and a cheat -The people lose.

    Vote for candidate B – Candidate B gets elected – Candidate B is an evil liar and a cheat – The people lose.

    Don’t vote – Candidate A or B gets elected anyway – Candidate A AND B are evil liars and cheats – The people lose.

    So, The people lose either way.

    Why vote?

    To show your support for getting screwed?

    What would happen if EVERYONE refused to vote?

    • BL,

      First, if YOU don’t vote you are not responsible for either A or B.

      Second, you will scare A and B crapless – as you’ve removed their legitimacy.

      Third, you don’t EVER need ALL the People. Just look at the machinations when the percentage of voters drops below 70% – the political world appears in chaos! They bring out movie stars and have political foes hugging each other in advertisements all saying “GO VOTE!!” Their fear is thick by the threat of non-votes.

      • Bottom Line says:

        BF – “First, if YOU don’t vote you are not responsible for either A or B.”

        BL – Exactly! That’s one of the reasons I don’t vote. I refuse to accept responsibility for helping screw the people. Every time someone is elected, they screw the people and people bitch and moan about it. That’s usually when I say “I didn’t vote for ’em.”

        BF – “Second, you will scare A and B crapless – as you’ve removed their legitimacy.”

        BL – Exactly! I refuse to legitimize evil lying con artists.

        BF – “Third, you don’t EVER need ALL the People. Just look at the machinations when the percentage of voters drops below 70% – the political world appears in chaos! They bring out movie stars and have political foes hugging each other in advertisements all saying “GO VOTE!!” Their fear is thick by the threat of non-votes.”

        BL – Yeah, I know. I was just trying to simplify and provoke thought. They depend on voter turnout to legitimize the position of so-called “representative government”. If nobody votes, they cannot say that the people are truly being represented.

        Not that we’re being represented anyway. People vote for who/what they THINK a candidate is, not for what they actually are.

        To take it a step further – There are no reprecussions for a fiat candidate(if you will), other than not being re-elected. But by then it’s too late.

        IMHO – the only way to resolve this issue is to find a REAL consequence.

        I.E. – If there were a way to fire them for renegging on campaign promises before their term was up.

        I.E. – If a LARGE angry mob literally yanked them up out of their seat and lynched them like Mussolini.

        Maybe then they might think twice about lying through their teeth just to get elected. The basis of human reason is risk/consequence vs. reward.

        • BL,

          <i.I.E. – If a LARGE angry mob literally yanked them up out of their seat and lynched them like Mussolini.

          That’s the way the Ancient Greeks did it. If the Senator was incompetent or corrupt, he was executed.

          I expect there wasn’t a general desire for regular folks to get into politics…. 🙂

          • Just as a general question to ponder-I feel it is fair to ask the same question of you that you asked of me and I’ll ask BL too since he agrees with you-Just what is it that you have accomplished by not voting? I understand what you hope to accomplish but what actually have you accomplished? Talk to you guys tomorrow.

          • Bottom Line says:

            I was a pretty politically saavy kid. I first started to take notice of the influence of government at around age seven. I remember watching Reagan and Gorbie on the TV negotiating disarmament treaties. The concept of nuclear warfare and M.A.D. weighed heavy on my young mind. It certainly got my attention. That’s where it started.

            At age ten when my mind was still relatively pure and unmolested, my grandmother and I were having a discussion on the importance of voting.

            I remember making the point that voting seems pointless because they just tell you what you want to hear, then do what they want once they get into office.

            I didn’t come up with that all by myself of course. I had taken notice of the concept from hearing grown-ups saying the same thing. It made sense, and as far as I could tell, it was absolutely true.

            My grandmother and I debated a little about it, and gramma was eventually rendered speechless. She was rather frustrated that she had just lost a political debate to a ten year old. I was right and she knew it.

            I have always had that bottom line mentality as a result of having a freed mind. I have always been free to the core. Freedom has always been my most cherished of values.

            Even when I was barely old enough to walk, my favorite thing to do was escape to the outdoors and run around in my diapers all over the apartment complex. I have heard so many stories of how I would wait for my mother to be distracted so I could make a break for it. She would panic when she turned around and notice my absence. My older sister and her would chase me around trying to catch me. They said that I would just laugh the whole time while I would run like hell.

            Nothing has changed. I have always had a problem with rules and authority. I always will.

            Oh, I’ve lost sight of it from time to time while mistakenly confusing maturity with conformity. But the wiser and more enlightened I become, the more it solidifies my desire for true freedom and distain from illegitimate authority.

            The more authority illegitimizes itself, the stronger I feel it.

            The more I think about it, the more of an Anarchist I become.

            I’ve been thinking of changing my name to “Black Order” or perhaps “Black Core”.

    • If everybody refused to vote…the people get screwed and nothing changes and no one cares about the legitimacy because they are still there. Our current government will continue to operate, tax and spend and start wars.

      If everyone does not vote and there no NO votes…..who throws out the current government….certainly not the people. They will stay in power and continue on…

      • Cyndi P says:

        Agreed. Who needs legitimacy when you have lots of guns?

        • We have 2 options. Change the government, or get lots of guns. And then change the government.

        • Cyndi,

          Because those who you are trying to enforce upon have guns too.

          The odds you will die is very high.

          Legitimacy gives you the power to enforce upon others in a way that if they resist, they are called criminals and as such their neighbors come to YOUR AID and abandon them! – this is much safer for you.

      • D13,

        Sometimes I’m surprised at how naive you can get, especially when world history and events -right in front of your face- demonstrate for you.

        The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a week-long series of increasingly violent riots and fighting in late December 1989 that overthrew the government of the communist president Nicolae Ceauşescu.

        After several weeks of local civil unrest following the erosion of political power of the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification. It was formally concluded on October 3, 1990.

        Loss of legitimacy destroys political power. This is why Ridicule is such a powerful weapon against politicians. It destroys their legitimacy.

        This is why scandal destroys political careers – because it destroys legitimacy.

        If sheer violent power was sufficient, then scandal would not at all destroy politicians. Yet, it is the #1 destroyer of politicians

    • Vote for Candidate C
      Candidate C does not win – the people lose, but you did not legitimize the winner. Candidate C got enough votes that people realized there might be another way than the false dichotomy of a two party system. Next election, Candidate C loses again, but scares the crap out of the winner because of a narrow victory. He tries to come back from the edge, the people lose less. Candidate C wins 3rd time around because Candidate A and B were still too far from good, and when they tried backpedalling, the people realized that candidate C had some real power, through them.

      Either that, or you shoot candidates A and B and hope the power vacuum is filled by a decent person. Lots of people die, which still constitutes a loss.

      No vote, no change. System eventually collapses, and the people lose in almost as much blood as the armed revolt. But hey, at least you stood your ground and made your point by self righteously doing nothing at all. Bravo.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Jon Smith – “Vote for Candidate C”

        I made a similar point months ago in here using frog turd soup vs cow puke caserole.

        Demand steak, or even a hot-dog. If steak/hot-dogs aren’t available, don’t eat. It’s still better than intentionally poisoning yourself.

        • But the demand must be made. Not voting is not just not eating, its not eating and not letting anyone know why. If a place only serves frog turd soup and cow puke casserole, you have to tell them that stuff is bad, don’t just say, “I’m not hungry”.

          • I agree-to have a voice-one must do something to be heard. I will not say that the theory of not voting doesn’t have any impact because the parties do notice when their base doesn’t vote. But they pay attention to this on an election by election basis-they want that base out there voting and if a large enough percentage decide not to vote in the current election they are being sent a message. But if you just never vote-you aren’t sending any message except that you’re opinion can just be dismissed.

  12. TexasChem says:

    Political Correctness at its’ finest!

    “Publishing Company Under Fire for Putting Warning Label on Constitution”

    A small publishing company is under fire after putting warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other historical documents.

    Wilder Publications warns readers of its reprints of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers, among others, that “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”

    The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they “might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.”

    Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, says the company may be trying to ensure that oversensitive people don’t pull its works off bookstore or library shelves.

    “Any idea that’s 100 years old will probably offend someone or other,” Olson told FoxNews.com. “…But if there’s anything that you ought to be able to take at a first gulp for yourself and then ask your parents if you’re wondering about this or that strange thing, it should be the founding documents of American history.”

    The warning seems to be offending more people than the documents themselves.

    Amazon.com’s customer reviews of Wilder’s copy of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation show an overwhelming number of people speaking out against the disclaimer, describing it as “insulting,” “sickening” and “frankly, horrifying.”

    Another review for Wilder’s edition of the Federalist Papers calls for an all-out boycott of the publisher, sarcastically pointing out the “dangerous ideas” it’s trying to protect children from: “limited government, checks and balances, constrained judicial review, dual sovereignty of states and federal government, and deliberative democracy.”

    And though warning labels are usually posted to protect a company from potential lawsuits, constitutional attorney Noel Francisco says this disclaimer has no legal benefits.

    “Would it ever be a legal concern that selling the Constitution would expose you to some kind of liability? No. Never,” Francisco told FoxNews.com. “The Constitution is the founding document of the country, an operative legal document.”

    As for the idea that this warning label might help keep these works from being yanked off bookshelves, Francisco says it is more likely to have the opposite effect: people not carrying the book because it has the disclaimer.

    “By putting on the warning, you’re making controversial something that’s not controversial: our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence,” he said.

    Amazon customers appear to agree. Almost all of the reviews discussing the disclaimer end with the same thought: don’t buy from this publisher.

    • Cyndi P says:

      “Would it ever be a legal concern that selling the Constitution would expose you to some kind of liability? No. Never,” Francisco told FoxNews.com”

      Nope, it but might get you sent to your friendly neighborhood FEMA camp in the not too distant future, lol!

      But on the serious side, maybe parents discussing the Constitution and how our society has, for lack of a better word, devolved, may be a good thing. I don’t think the publisher is trashing the Constitution. The people who think of it as trash wouldn’t buy it anyway, muchless read of discuss with their children. People who are inclined to buy may not be aware of the indoctrination their children are getting. If not, this label might be helpful. Just a thought.

      • Cyndi

        Don’t worry my dear Island Buddy. We have the inside track.

        Spousal Unit Leader is training this week to run the FEMA camps.

        I think she would agree to make sure all the SUFA folks get “special” treatment.

        🙂

  13. TexasChem says:

    @-BlackFlag

    So do you think that no society can share the same idealogical, moral, ethical and faith and be true to all members of that society>?

    Is there no person alive that has all the above traits>?

    Partisan vs Bi-partisan.
    Good vs Evil.
    Black or white.
    Good or bad.

    Perhaps a civilized man could identify the traits of natural law which advance the betterment of mankind from all faith and idealogical beliefs.Our very own Constitution was an attempt to do this with a heavy dose of judeo/christian influence.As it stands our nation has developed into THE single most powerful nation in the world for that reason alone!

    Without a doubt our decline as a nation has been from turning away from those basic fundamentals.Does anyone doubt this and need proof?

  14. TexasChem says:

    Hmmm…”Flaws in the American mindset”
    Catchy wording.Got me to think-thinking about a few things.

    What if…Obama and the lefts rise to political power has just been a ploy by the real powers that be,those in control of western civilization?

    What if…Obama and the left will be the fall guy, whipping boy,patsy,straw man;whatever term you use,that will influence western society back to the right to condone some other action?

    Hmmmm…

  15. I would love to see all political party’s abolished in this country. Unfortunately that just ain’t gonna happen . . . 😦

%d bloggers like this: