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Author Topic: I'm just tired....  (Read 905 times)

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Online LostInTheMistTopic starter

I'm just tired....
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:56:03 AM »
I'm a Democrat. I still approve of Barack Obama (mostly because MOST of what he's done has my approval, but not everything).

But I'm just tired. I'm a politics major. I worked on Obama's re-election campaign. But I'm tired of politics. I'm tired of the endless bickering, the pointless back-and-forth that sways no opinions and that means absolutely nothing. "Debate" on the floor of the Senate or the House just means "talking when everyone has already made up their minds".

If I had the millions of dollars I needed, I would form my own party. One made up of dissatisfied Democrats AND Republicans. We would vote on issues, and then we would, as a block, vote that way. If we could build up enough of a base in any given state, we could swing elections in that state on a local, state-wide, and national level. If we built up enough influence in EVERY state, we could swing national elections to the side we decided. Every politician in the land would be beholden to us. It wouldn't be special interests or people with millions of dollars. WE could end every political career in Washington. They would all be beholden to US, the common people.

But I don't have millions of dollars, and such an idea probably wouldn't work anyway. I just wanted to say that I'm a politician (well, and a registered nurse), and I'm tired of politics as usual.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 02:20:49 AM »
Such parties already exist - the problem is that many people feel that their only voting options are the candidates they see on the CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News presidential debates.  For example, many dissatisfied Democrats may be interested in the Green Party of the United States, which espouses, "non-hierarchical participatory democracy, social justice, respect for diversity, peace, and nonviolence."  In addition, they do not accept donations from corporations, PACs, 527(c) organizations or through "soft money" (donation loopholes).  I lean more conservative, so I have voted for other 3rd parties in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. 

It's easy to get information about the campaign donors for any candidate.  A look at Obama's donors should have immediately tipped anyone off that he would be more of the same.  Yet many people will continue to not look into this, or not really care, when it comes to choosing a 2016 candidate.

People will continue to vote Democrat and Republican - partly due to ignorance of this reality due to the lack of exposure of alternative media outlets, and partly due to an overemphasis on social issues rather than the economic policy issues that affect us all.  There's no sign of this voting behavior changing anytime soon, so I can't say I am optimistic about American politics.

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 02:44:05 AM »
It's easy to get information about the campaign donors for any candidate.  A look at Obama's donors should have immediately tipped anyone off that he would be more of the same.  Yet many people will continue to not look into this, or not really care, when it comes to choosing a 2016 candidate.

Obama's positions on torture, wiretapping, net neutrality, and economic policy in general are not things I, as a liberal Democrat, particularly appreciate. However, there's marked differences between Obama and either of his opponents in 2008 or 2012, and pretending otherwise is disingenuous at best. Voting for a major party candidate that you disagree less with isn't idiocy, it's compromise; that's the trick.

The problem with voting third party is that many third parties are too focused on the national stage. You cannot win at the national stage, you cannot even get airtime on the national stage, why are you fielding a presidential candidate at all? Third parties are better served aiming for local offices that can eventually build a more powerful body politic or affect change on the national level by osmosis. Bernie Sanders, for instance, is probably the most powerful independent in politics, and Vermont's incipient single-payer healthcare system could eventually, like Massachussetts', provide a national model. I don't see any equivalent from America's official third parties, which largely look like self-aggrandizement vehicles for fringe politicians.

LostintheMist, if you feel fed up with national politics, might be time to pay attention to local politics instead, on the county or city level. You see a lot more compromise there (though just as much petty viciousness).

Offline Valthazar

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Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 03:12:04 AM »
Obama's positions on torture, wiretapping, net neutrality, and economic policy in general are not things I, as a liberal Democrat, particularly appreciate. However, there's marked differences between Obama and either of his opponents in 2008 or 2012, and pretending otherwise is disingenuous at best.

There are definitely differences - the Democrats or Republicans may very well hurt and benefit different demographics.  However, whether it is the Democrat or Republican in office, neither is inherently populist or working for the common man's benefit - regardless of what policies are implemented at present.

For example, Republicans talk about creating economic opportunity for Americans by reducing taxes, knowing full well this is for the benefit of corporate donors, and have very little regard for demographics like single mothers.  On the other hand, Democrats talk about encouraging economic mobility by increasing access to higher education, knowing full well that the corresponding student loan interest payments will benefit the financial industry.  Neither party seems to care about the fact that social security likely won't exist for many of us in retirement, let alone Medicare.

From what I have seen here, third parties already do have a reasonable presence at the local level.

For example, here's a list of all the local and state Green Party candidates in 2014:
GP candidates 2014
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 03:13:49 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 05:41:47 AM »
People will continue to vote Democrat and Republican - partly due to ignorance of this reality due to the lack of exposure of alternative media outlets, and partly due to an overemphasis on social issues rather than the economic policy issues that affect us all.  There's no sign of this voting behavior changing anytime soon, so I can't say I am optimistic about American politics.
Haven't you forgotten another possible reason why people continue to vote for the two big parties? In an FPTP system a vote for a newer, smaller, third party may well look like a waste of a vote to many, as they expect either the Democrat or Republican to win anyway. Given that (not unrealistic) expectation, many people might decide to vote for what they see as the lesser of one of the two evils that are almost guaranteed to win the race, instead of going for an alternative.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 06:04:30 AM »
Haven't you forgotten another possible reason why people continue to vote for the two big parties? In an FPTP system a vote for a newer, smaller, third party may well look like a waste of a vote to many, as they expect either the Democrat or Republican to win anyway. Given that (not unrealistic) expectation, many people might decide to vote for what they see as the lesser of one of the two evils that are almost guaranteed to win the race, instead of going for an alternative.

Yes, I agree with you.  That is an understandable perspective for them to have.  The point I am making is that all of these factors, combined, are unlikely to change the course of American politics.

Offline consortium11

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 10:29:04 AM »
Haven't you forgotten another possible reason why people continue to vote for the two big parties? In an FPTP system a vote for a newer, smaller, third party may well look like a waste of a vote to many, as they expect either the Democrat or Republican to win anyway. Given that (not unrealistic) expectation, many people might decide to vote for what they see as the lesser of one of the two evils that are almost guaranteed to win the race, instead of going for an alternative.

But by the same logic wouldn't people likely end up voting for just one party in all but a few states (at least for presidential elections)? I mean, when was the last time Alabama or Alaska went Democratic or Minnesota went Republican? With the exception of elections that are so one-sided that it throws all records out of whack (Reagen vs Mondale being the best example), there are generally several "safe states" that will pretty much always fall for one party. If the reason a third party would struggle is because people saw it as a wasted vote then we'd likely also see the Democrat vote in say Alabama collapse as it became apparent it would always go the the GOP... yet the numbers have remained at about 40%.

If anything, shouldn't the concept of wasted votes actually help third parties? If Alabama always goes Republican... and by about 60/40 so it's not particularly close... wouldn't it be the perfect place for a third party looking to pick up dissatisfied Democrats to gain support? After all, it doesn't really matter how anyone who doesn't vote Republican will vote... the GOP will always take it... so why not use it as a chance to show how unhappy one is with the Democrats by supporting someone else?

Offline ThePrince

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 11:42:47 AM »
I'm a Democrat. I still approve of Barack Obama (mostly because MOST of what he's done has my approval, but not everything).

But I'm just tired. I'm a politics major. I worked on Obama's re-election campaign. But I'm tired of politics. I'm tired of the endless bickering, the pointless back-and-forth that sways no opinions and that means absolutely nothing. "Debate" on the floor of the Senate or the House just means "talking when everyone has already made up their minds".

If I had the millions of dollars I needed, I would form my own party. One made up of dissatisfied Democrats AND Republicans. We would vote on issues, and then we would, as a block, vote that way. If we could build up enough of a base in any given state, we could swing elections in that state on a local, state-wide, and national level. If we built up enough influence in EVERY state, we could swing national elections to the side we decided. Every politician in the land would be beholden to us. It wouldn't be special interests or people with millions of dollars. WE could end every political career in Washington. They would all be beholden to US, the common people.

But I don't have millions of dollars, and such an idea probably wouldn't work anyway. I just wanted to say that I'm a politician (well, and a registered nurse), and I'm tired of politics as usual.

Then get out of politics. Because all the things your tired of are not going away, regardless of how much money you wish you had. To follow politics, or even be a part of it requires you to have some measure of detachment from the emotion of politics and the day to day pettiness. Otherwise you will burnout which sounds like what's happening to you.

So get out of politics, take the time to recharge your batteries. Then go find an issue you care about and put your energy behind that.

If you can't play the long game, than your just not going to last in politics.

Offline elone

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 09:03:07 PM »
I think a lot of people are tired of our political situation. It seems reasonable to try to start at the local level if you want to try to change things because at that level one is more easily heard for you views rather than party dogma.

I often wonder what happens to political movements and why they fade over time. In the 60's we had the anti-war movement and it seemed a whole generation of young people who wanted to try to change things. As the war ended, so did the movement and everyone went back to their lives, got older, and now are the people in power. Of course, those older ones now in power were not the ones out there marching in the streets, they were the ones who were cursing the hippies. Then there are the Jerry Brown's, of Calif. who are still trying to get something progressive done, at least I think so. I think apathy, and to some extent, the fact that people like LostInTheMist just get worn out from beating their heads against the wall of two party politics, are the reasons that we can not get things to change in this country. What happened to the 99% movement? Where did they go?

I am one of those older generation and personally, I think if anything I have become more liberal with age, mainly because I have seen what the neocons and the rest of conservatives have done to us. We go through endless wars, Korea, VietNam, Gulf wars, and other skirmishes for what exactly? Why do we spend billions in foreign aid to prolong fighting in the middle east, for example when we have crap for health care and education at home.

Maybe someday we will get someone who will keep fighting and find a way to galvanize people into changing our system, getting a third party started that will stick. Don't give up LostInTheMist, keep fighting, be the one who organizes and rallies the masses.

I for one, see this country slowly, ever so slowly, moving away from conservatism, and becoming a little more progressive. Obama could never have been elected 30 years ago simple because of the racial aspects. Hell, Kennedy barely got elected because of the Catholic thing. Kennedy today would be called a conservative. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" Kind of rules out Medicare, Medicaid, Student loans, Social Security and a whole host of other benefits.

I have always paid my taxes, played by the rules, served in the military, and I ask, "What is my country doing for me?"

The answer seems to be, not much.

(Sorry, this seems to have turned into a rant)


Offline Healergirl

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »
Thrid parties are well represented as candidtes for local offices...but not as local office holders. I do think that the effort - in my eyes -  wasted on Presidential races would be better used building strength at the local level.

Offline consortium11

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 08:02:00 AM »
Thrid parties are well represented as candidtes for local offices...but not as local office holders. I do think that the effort - in my eyes -  wasted on Presidential races would be better used building strength at the local level.

As much as people dislike them... and as dislikeable as many of them are... I think looking at the early successes of the Tea Party is a good guide to how either third parties or those who want to radically change an existing party should operate. Of course, the Tea Party eventually got co-opted by existing interests but those first few months (combined with a year or two of Ron Paul's campaign) are as good a guide as any.

All too often when a group wants change it tries to do it from the top down... and even if it has a large swell of support it struggles because it simply cannot handle the bureaucracy that comes with politics (and party politics in particular). In contrast the Tea Party fully engaged with the bureaucracy and basically beat it at its own game... it got members/supporters onto local committees and into key seats in those committees, it understood and took over the political process and through doing so it made sure that it had a solid base to work from. By working from the bottom up the Tea Party managed to secure a place for itself at the table. Groups working from the top down rarely do. Moreover by getting people in the door you give them the chance to have experience of getting things done... and as much as we wish that politics was the art of ideas on the whole it's more the art of getting things done.

To give examples from the UK over recent years we've seen fourth and fifth parties (we already have an established third party) achieve some success below the national level, most notably the Green party in Brighton, the BNP in Barking and Dagenham and UKIP at European elections. And suffice to say none have exactly been a success. The BNP were dreadful in B&D and eventually lost all their seats, the Green's control of Brighton has been riven by internal divisions and overly optimistic attempts to implement policy and UKIP are regularly hit by scandals and general incompetence as they try to grow from a minor single-issue protest party to a genuine national alternative. But whatever the short term failures those parties now have experience of government and the day-to-day reality of politics which means they have something to build from. Someone who goes straight for the top doesn't... and as embarrassing as say the Green's issues in Brighton are, they're a minor concern compared to if they had the same issues but with a dozen or two MP's. On a much larger scale a similar thought can be applied to the Lib Dems (our third party) who for the first time in their history made it into power as part of a coalition government... and have suffered massively because they now actually have to wield power on a national scale rather than simply talk about it. But that failure (and it will likely be a very painful failure come the next election) sets them up for the future... they know what to expect.

People dream of political revolutions, of a few months or a year of optimism and hope sweeping all before it to install your chosen candidate in place. It rarely works like that. Instead it's normally an evolution (for lack of a better word), where you change things within the machine.

Online Denivar

Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2014, 11:33:34 PM »
But by the same logic wouldn't people likely end up voting for just one party in all but a few states (at least for presidential elections)? I mean, when was the last time Alabama or Alaska went Democratic or Minnesota went Republican? With the exception of elections that are so one-sided that it throws all records out of whack (Reagen vs Mondale being the best example), there are generally several "safe states" that will pretty much always fall for one party. If the reason a third party would struggle is because people saw it as a wasted vote then we'd likely also see the Democrat vote in say Alabama collapse as it became apparent it would always go the the GOP... yet the numbers have remained at about 40%.

I think there are a number of reasons for this, including many people simply not understanding how the electoral college works, and so forth. However I do think that it makes it even harder for a state like Alabama to be won by the democrats simply because many democrats in the state don't think it's worth going and voting.

This is why it's a good idea to support the National Popular Vote interstate Compact which has quietly reached 60% of the amount of support it needs to take effect and make the white house winnable by the candidate with the most votes nationwide.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2014, 07:29:44 PM »
Americans complaining about their politics have never tasted what Brazilian Politics are like. That is all.

Offline Retribution

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Re: I'm just tired....
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 07:31:45 AM »
I did not jump right into this because I wanted to see what others have to say. As most of you on here know I am a moderate conservative who gets more liberal with age. I kind of fall between Baby Boom and Gen X in age, I recall for example POWs coming home from Vietnam but it is a vague recollection and I was very young. And I am from a very rural background, but am college educated. Just so you all know where I come from  :-)

What I think the real issue is with stagnating politics is the mechanisms are not in place for a viable alternative. For example Chicago always goes Democratic because of the established machine, the Solid South for example has shifted to solidly Republican because of the established conservative machine. These are obvious examples but there are roots of political mechanisms and methods in place that in some cases go back over a hundred years. They key to these machines is appealing to the loyal base in primaries and just enough of the more moderate in general elections. To do this the rhetoric gets more extreme liberal or conservative. Thus we have established parties with systems in place that strangle upstart third parties and none of the candidates represent what people really feel.

I think we, the voters are partly to blame. We look for a candidate that completely reflects are views. It is not going to happen as no two people view things the same. But the political system shifts to try and be all things to all people in order to appeal to that tendency in voters. It is not realistic and is a fantasy it makes elections to some extent fraud. So on the personal level in upcoming elections I am embracing some candidates I am not real proud of. But of the choices I feel like they are the most reasonable. Or for example the current fellow in the white house does not reflect my politics. But my biggest gripe on him is Chicago Democrat and I think that system is so corrupt that nothing good can come out of it. But in keeping with the personal feeling that we all can help fix this by admitting there will be differing views and that they are not disqualifying I have to admit I am not that opposed to how the fellow has governed. Other than the defeated attack on the second amendment he has pretty much done what I would have a president do with a few minor vexations along the way. I honestly feel like this sort of acceptance is relevant to breaking some of the stagnation and it starts on a personal level.