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Author Topic: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates [Poll updated!]  (Read 40295 times)

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Offline The Dark Raven

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #600 on: January 19, 2016, 10:20:19 AM »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #601 on: January 19, 2016, 10:22:46 AM »
What the hell Bernie. Seriously.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #602 on: January 19, 2016, 01:35:59 PM »
I'm not surprised.  The media will scrounge and scrape up anything to make Bernie look bad, all so they can protect Hillary, who need I remind you already ran for President eight years ago and lost to the brand new guy on the block.  (In terms of experience and history.)  I doubt if the Clinton campaign pulled a stunt like this that anyone would bother covering it.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #603 on: January 19, 2016, 01:50:36 PM »
Yeah, but it's still a stupid thing for him to have done. He (or at least his campaign managers) shouldn't have left that opportunity for them.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #604 on: January 19, 2016, 09:20:36 PM »
Donald Trump has been endorsed by none other than...Sarah Palin. A match made in heaven.  :P

What if he gets nominated and actually gives Palin the VP card on the bill? *starts dreaming*

Offline Mithlomwen

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #605 on: January 20, 2016, 10:49:37 AM »
New York Daily News' Headline today

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #606 on: January 20, 2016, 10:51:00 AM »
A thing of beauty.

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #607 on: January 20, 2016, 01:50:44 PM »
Makes me sad.  Makes a lot of people in the area downright angry:

http://yellowhammernews.com/politics-2/feelthebern-sanders-alabama-campaign-rally-takes-warming-station-from-homeless/

The people could have attended the rally, I'm sure. I honestly would sit through a trump rally to stay out of the cold regardless what he says.

Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #608 on: January 20, 2016, 05:55:21 PM »
What the hell Bernie. Seriously.

It's worth remembering that Bernie Sanders isn't a saint, he's a politician and there will be times when he does what a politician does... such as here. The man may like to present himself as an avatar of integrity and decency... and to be fair he may well have more integrity than most of his peers... but that doesn't mean he's not going to do politician things from time to time.

Take his policy on immigration. When he was just a senator from Vermont with no intention of running for the Presidential nomination, let alone winning it, he was about as anti-immigration as any Democrat will ever be, arguing that allowing immigration and especially amnesty type programs would hurt the American working class by massively expanding the workforce and thus lowering wages. Perhaps that was his principled position, perhaps it was because as the senator for a state which is 95% white he didn't have to worry about courting the Hispanic vote but he did have to worry about keeping the unions who funded and supported him on side. Whatever the reason, that was his position. Yet now he's running for President and now getting the Hispanic vote both within the primary (Hillary polls strongly there) and the Presidential election itself is vital and now his policy is almost a complete 180 from that previous position.

Ron Paul... whether you liked him or not... was generally seen as a politician with integrity, one who would stick to his beliefs no matter what. But Paul... the patron saint of opposing government spending... was more than happy to pack bills with pork, vote against them (knowing they'd pass anyway) and then grab the pork with both hands when it was available.

Part of being a politician is being elected. Politicians will tend to do things they think or hope will get them elected. Some do it more openly and blatantly than others but on some level they will all do it. There are no angels in this world and no halo that is not at least somewhat rusty.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #609 on: January 20, 2016, 05:59:09 PM »
Sure, I don't (and I don't think anyone else does) expect him to be perfect. But when he screws up, or does a politician thing, he deserves to get called out on it just like anyone else.

Offline elone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #610 on: January 20, 2016, 11:05:15 PM »
As for Bernie and some of his decisions, one must remember that he is a Senator from Vermont and as such is supposed to represent his constituency and their views. That is why he was elected, to represent the people of Vermont, not New York or Alabama. As president, he will represent all of us and be free to do what he is promising, or at least try. Hillary, Bill, an Chelsea are doing their best to lie and misrepresent his positions, because they are getting their asses kicked in New Hampshire. Their PAC is going negative.

Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #611 on: January 21, 2016, 04:25:28 AM »
Sure, I don't (and I don't think anyone else does) expect him to be perfect. But when he screws up, or does a politician thing, he deserves to get called out on it just like anyone else.

My point wasn't that he shouldn't be called out; he should. It's more than people shouldn't be particularly surprised or shocked when things like this happen. Politicians and their rallies/fundraisers regularly inconvenience the lives of those less fortunate than themselves in order to win elections. There's no reason to think Sanders wouldn't do the same.

Offline mannik

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #612 on: January 21, 2016, 03:54:17 PM »
Personally, I'm very afraid for the future of this country. By the way the media circus is going, choices are going to come down to Hillary or Trump...and at that point we, the people are just choosing in which way we want to get screwed. Why must every decent candidate get black balled and slandered by the main stream media while the liars, snakes, and traitors to the constitution are paraded around like saviors of the people?

I find it hard to believe that the general populace is really so stupid as to believe that either Hillary or Trump has our best interest at heart. We all know Hillary is a crooked politician with little regard for american lives, and Trump is a crooked business man who would sell us all to china to make a quick buck....so why are they the front runners?

If the race came down to Sanders vs Paul, we might stand a chance. Both of them seem like they actually care about the constitution and want to help deal with the REAL problems in this country (Though Ron is the Paul we really need, his son is just the next best thing)....meanwhile Hillary is gearing up to be the next Obama and continue trampling the constitution, and Trump is ready to try his hand at being Hitler. You can't cure corruption by constantly choosing corrupt officials.

But that's all the choice the system in place is ever going to give us.

And the worst part is, if EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN voted for someone else, one of those two would still wind up in office due to the electoral college. The average citizen's vote doesn't actually matter at all. They are basically nothing more than suggestions for the electoral college to choose to follow or not. There's no real obligation for them to vote how their state actually did.

http://3wisemenessentials.com/images/voting-once-more.jpg
(linked since it has kidlets in it ~Staff)

That said...I've noticed a pattern in election results during my life time. the incumbent always wins, and if it's his second term, the other party wins. I mean...think about it. Clinton, democrat, 2 terms. W. Bush, republican, 2 terms. Obama, democrat, 2 terms.....so, next comes two terms of Trump, then whatever snake the democrats dig up after he's done...assuming we're still even bothering to pretend to have elections then.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 04:20:13 PM by Blythe »

Offline Skynet

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #613 on: January 21, 2016, 04:57:36 PM »
Donald Trump's alt-right (white supremacist) supporters are described as "childless single men who masturbate to anime."

Well now, I didn't expect a hentai reference from a GOP strategist...

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #614 on: January 21, 2016, 05:57:12 PM »
I don't believe that for a moment. 



They wouldn't be going for that furrin stuff - gotta be 'Murrkin!

Offline Skynet

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #615 on: January 21, 2016, 06:12:52 PM »
I don't believe that for a moment. 



They wouldn't be going for that furrin stuff - gotta be 'Murrkin!

As a creepy yet oddly intriguing thing I picked up in reading about such ideologies, East Asians in white supremacist mythology are ascribed as being the smartest races of all (either tied with or exceeding Jews depending upon interpretation).  However, according to them East Asian cultures are bereft of inherent creativity and thus must steal the innovations and ideas of other races in order to become strong.  Given that Japanese anime's influence owes some credit to Walt Disney's art style, Adolf Hitler declaring Japanese people to be "honorary Aryans," and the "model minority" perception in the US of East Asians being "less troublesome" than other races, it's not that strange that there's Neo-Nazis who unironically like Dragon Ball Z and such.  To that end, anime in their eyes would not be a foreign invention but something that originated among white people all along.

There's also the fact that Stormfront realized that the "ironic racism" of 4chan can be used as a useful recruiting tool by subtly moving people towards their way of thinking over time instead of going whole hog ("those Klansmen are crazy, but did you see the Ferguson and Baltimore riots and those black kids who beat up that white student?  I mean I can't blame them for racism if people start getting scared of them...").  Given that 4chan and 8chan culture are big fans of anime and gaming memes, the two combine together into what probably led to said strategist coming to that statement.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 06:20:55 PM by Skynet »

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #616 on: January 21, 2016, 07:53:51 PM »
Personally, I'm very afraid for the future of this country. By the way the media circus is going, choices are going to come down to Hillary or Trump...and at that point we, the people are just choosing in which way we want to get screwed. Why must every decent candidate get black balled and slandered by the main stream media while the liars, snakes, and traitors to the constitution are paraded around like saviors of the people?

Because decent people aren't willing to sell their souls to the political machine.  Because decent people don't want to get involved in politics because of a strange focus on personal rather than civic ethics.  And above all?  Because decent people want to do decent things for the people of this country.

It's no real secret that the media, corporations, and various other special interest groups are enjoying a heyday right now when it comes to access of the power of government.  And as you state below, most people aren't stupid - they know the ultimate problem is too much influence on politics and governance by these groups - and their solution is to simply do away with the policies that allow these groups this influence.

Not surprisingly, those would-be affected don't want the gravy train to end.  They want to keep making five billion dollars in the US annually and then get another three back on tax refunds from Uncle Sam.  So they use their influence, their wealth, to stop anyone who might put the kibosh on that.  It's been said here, and I think it's worth repeating - if corporations are people, then they are a psychopath.

This is hardly the first time something like this has happened.  The British East India Company also benefited from being able to dictate and create policy for its own benefit to the British government.  It took a massive uprising in India in 1857 for the Crown to finally upend the Company and nationalize it, but there had long been concerns for the self-centered and corrupt behavior of the Company's officers and various other management types leading up to that incident.

Why ignore such behavior for so long?  Because the Company was making Britain rich, and it was bringing goods at such low prices that even the common man could afford them.  The British government's tax on tea imported from China and India - which was only through the EIC, who enjoyed a Parliament-enforced monopoly - accounted for ten percent of all British revenue.  Imagine if 10% of all our taxes today came from something like bottled water or Coca-Cola.

In short, I really think it's going to take a massive event, similar to what happened in India, before we really start to fix the problems we have today.

I find it hard to believe that the general populace is really so stupid as to believe that either Hillary or Trump has our best interest at heart. We all know Hillary is a crooked politician with little regard for american lives, and Trump is a crooked business man who would sell us all to china to make a quick buck....so why are they the front runners?

Trump is the Republican frontrunner because those on the voting right these days are tired of being lied to by politicians who'll say any thing they damn well please to get into office, and then upend all their promises so they can get the backing of their party.  They look at Trump and see someone who'll talk at them straight.  Trump is also the culmination of the Republican focus on trying to put businessmen in office rather than statesmen.  Trump also enjoys broad cultural recognition, thanks to his show and various antics he's done over the years, as opposed to guys like Marco Rubio (who you never heard of 5 years ago).

Hillary is the Democratic frontrunner for two reasons.  One, the last decent President we did have in office was Mr. Clinton, and they want to capitalize on that.  Two, the media wanted Hillary to win back in 2008, and then it was 'stolen' out from under her by Obama.  So now they're going for round 2, and the media is really pushing her as the only legitimate candidate.  The fact that she's a woman on top of that is just civil rights icing on the cake - they'd back Hillary even if she was a man.  Never mind that people haven't had much issue with lambasting people on the right, like Perry, Santorum, or Huckabee, who ran in previous elections and failed to garner the nomination.  Why should Hillary be any different?  Because the media wants her to win, so they blind themselves to their own hypocrisy.

Again, this isn't the first time this has happened.  When the 1860 election came around, there were four men - Seward, Chase, Bates, and Lincoln - running for the Republican nomination.  When Lincoln won, he recognized that the crisis they were facing - the South had declared it would secede if Lincoln won, despite his promise not to interfere with slavery where it already existed - would require extraordinary men.  And Lincoln concluded that they were the best, and he "had no right to deprive the country of their services."  So he made Seward Secretary of State, put Chase in charge of the Treasury, and Bates became Attorney General.

You'll note, however, that we never had a President Seward - indeed, other than being Lincoln's State cabinet member, the thing he became known for was "Seward's Folly," the purchase of Alaska from Russia.  (Chase was a bit different because he was made Chief Justice of SCOTUS, and Bates died five years after the Civil War ended.)  Because they recognized they had their shot at glory and it had passed them by for a man who, in their final judgments, was really better than them.

There's none of that today.

If the race came down to Sanders vs Paul, we might stand a chance. Both of them seem like they actually care about the constitution and want to help deal with the REAL problems in this country (Though Ron is the Paul we really need, his son is just the next best thing)....meanwhile Hillary is gearing up to be the next Obama and continue trampling the constitution, and Trump is ready to try his hand at being Hitler. You can't cure corruption by constantly choosing corrupt officials.

But that's all the choice the system in place is ever going to give us.

Because, and I hate to say this, but we have encouraged this corruption.  Elections these days are essentially gigantic popularity contests, and whoever can make the biggest promises that meet the expectations of the voters will enjoy success.

Example: we don't want the government to raise our taxes, because TAXES BAD.  Never mind that taxes are how we pay to have an army, to upkeep infrastructure, to pay for government services.  Anyone who has advocated the raising of taxes in recent political memory has been lambasted by the people because "the gummint wants more of my money to waste on $20,000 toilet seats!"  We aren't going to get out of our current economic woes through cutting spending alone.  We have to pay our way - we were foolish and now we, quite literally, have to pay the price of that.  But people refuse to elect anyone who tells them that simple truth.  As a result, you get in people who are willing to lie to the American people.

I'm personally reminded of this:

Quote from: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says: "Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die! We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything!

That, of course, was followed by laughter at the place Roosevelt was giving the speech, because people then recognized how absurd that was.  We don't have that today.  We are willing to believe anyone who tells us what we want to hear, not what is grounded in reality.

To use a more close-to-home example, imagine being back at school and voting for student council president.  Who were the guys that got the really big followings?  The guys that made promises like "Pizza day every day!" or "Coke in the water fountains!" or "Extra time for recess!"  Now, a student council does not have that kind of power, but in our youth and stupidity, we were willing to believe that they actually did.  It wasn't until we got older, went to high school, that we started to dismiss that kind of promise, because we understood that a student council could not do that.

So, quite simply, we are still youthful and stupid politically, willing to believe crazy and unreasonable things because we want to.  Because the alternative, the reality, is so unpalatable to us that we'd rather die in a fantasy than live in reality.

And the worst part is, if EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN voted for someone else, one of those two would still wind up in office due to the electoral college. The average citizen's vote doesn't actually matter at all. They are basically nothing more than suggestions for the electoral college to choose to follow or not. There's no real obligation for them to vote how their state actually did.

Which is actually one of the major things people who propose abolition of the electoral college give as their reasoning - though I will point out something interesting.  The system originally didn't work the way it does today.  It actually used to be that within a state, the popular vote was totaled up for each side, and then that side was assigned a number of electors based on those numbers.  The idea of a whole state's electoral votes going to whoever wins the popular vote in that state wasn't always - while it might seem like a long time ago, the winner take all method only really started in the mid-1800s.  So the college itself isn't broken, but it could use some repairing.

That said...I've noticed a pattern in election results during my life time. the incumbent always wins, and if it's his second term, the other party wins. I mean...think about it. Clinton, democrat, 2 terms. W. Bush, republican, 2 terms. Obama, democrat, 2 terms.....so, next comes two terms of Trump, then whatever snake the democrats dig up after he's done...assuming we're still even bothering to pretend to have elections then.

That's not actually all that surprising, if you think about it.  America has a lot of problems facing it today - foreign affairs issues, the economy, the ever increasing encroachment of the values of one group of people into the lives of others...a lot of problems.  Americans want these problems fixed.  The problem, though, is that the attitude and attention span of your average American today is far from what it used to be.

To give you an idea - William Wilberforce was one of the men principally recognized for the abolition of slavery in England.  A single, monumental issue - that took Wilberforce and his compatriots 20 years before Parliament finally passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807.  20 years, to accomplish one of the most fundamental tasks in the civil rights history of man.  And keep in mind that one of Wilberforce's friends was William Pitt, who was Prime Minister (the youngest EVER) during nearly all of this time.  All that time, though?  Wilberforce and his allies were mercilessly mocked and lampooned.

With today's political climate?  You could not get that done.  We insist our problems be fixed within one or two Presidential election cycles - 8 years.  And politically speaking, that's not a lot of time.  We simply don't have the political will to let problems have long solutions.  In short:

We have problem A.  We put the Democrats in the White House, expecting them to fix A within their 8 years.  When A isn't fixed, we go and say "they can't fix the problem, maybe the other guys will do better," and so we put the Republicans up, hoping they'll fix the problem.

But neither side can by themselves.  Because government of our style requires cooperation across the lines, and compromise and bipartisanship seem to be dirty words in Congress today.  So we're inevitably left to ping-pong back between the parties, hoping one of them can magically fix our problems in an unreasonable timeframe.  We need to have patience, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Offline mannik

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #617 on: January 21, 2016, 10:39:29 PM »
There seems to be an inherent flaw in the 2 party system (aside from the complete and utter removal of actual 'choice'). And it's a flaw I've recognized since I was 5. They are polar opposites. What one president does, like Obama's executive actions on gun control (which I won't bother debating here) and his healthcare reform will just be repealed by the next republican in office. So much time, effort and resources go into undoing what the last guy did that we don't actually move forward as a country. We just keep running around in circles accomplishing nothing as we argue and bicker about bull crap that isn't even the government's place to deal with. Like gay marriage for instance.

Marriage is, at is core, a religious ceremony. (the uniting of two souls in the eyes of god) And the constitution declares there MUST be a separation of church and state in order for there to be freedom of religion...to even have the president say ANYTHING AT ALL about it, short of universal recognition of all marriage, gay, straight or otherwise (like, to a lamp post or something), violates that tenant of the constitution.

I know gay marriage isn't really one of the hot topic issues being debated at the moment...but I'm just using it to prove my point. The candidates are always so eager to draw the public's attention toward social issues that aren't even part of their job just to distract from the real issues like the buying and selling of votes and legislation that goes on every day.

And you mentioned the economy as one of the issues that we need to fix. While I do agree whole heartedly, none of the presidential front runners are willing to even acknowledge WHY our economy is struggling as much as it is. The fact of the matter is, all the money that the US has, ALL OF IT, is borrowed from a privately owned bank (The Federal Reserve Bank to be exact) with interest. So simply for having money in circulation, the country is in debt that is inherently impossible to repay since the only way to get more money is to borrow it from the same bank that's holding the debt....well, I mean we could borrow money from china to pay it off, but that's like using one credit card to pay off another, foolish and unhelpful as it's just transferring the debt, not eliminating it.

That's what income tax is, the government's way to pay back the interest on the money that it borrowed from the Fed. If we had a sound money system, that reflected the actual wealth of the nation and not the perceived wealth of a privately owned company, we'd be able to actually do something useful to fix the economy and things like income tax would become considerably less relevant. As it is, the federal reserve controls the entire US economy with two simple tools, inflation, and interest rates. So, naturally the government panders to them every chance they get, otherwise they'll make the money more expensive!

Something major does need to happen...but what? And is it already too late? I mean, the corrupt and self serving system in place is never going to allow someone who actually acts in the interests of the constitution and the american people to make it to the white house. Because that would end the gravy train. It's very possible that things will reach a point where even a post like this, criticizing the government for it's obvious failings, is going to be classified as extremist and 'anti-american' when in reality criticizing the government is the most american thing you can possibly do...and thanks to good ol W. and his patriot act, the government has the power to imprison it's citizens indefinitely and without trial for 'terrorism' a term that they are free to define however they wish.

Hillary is not the answer. Trump is not the answer.

I don't know what is, but I'm sickened by this thing that dares to call itself a 'government by the people, for the people.' and the disgraceful dog and pony show they call elections.

Offline Ebb

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #618 on: January 21, 2016, 11:17:53 PM »
And you mentioned the economy as one of the issues that we need to fix. While I do agree whole heartedly, none of the presidential front runners are willing to even acknowledge WHY our economy is struggling as much as it is. The fact of the matter is, all the money that the US has, ALL OF IT, is borrowed from a privately owned bank (The Federal Reserve Bank to be exact) with interest. So simply for having money in circulation, the country is in debt that is inherently impossible to repay since the only way to get more money is to borrow it from the same bank that's holding the debt....well, I mean we could borrow money from china to pay it off, but that's like using one credit card to pay off another, foolish and unhelpful as it's just transferring the debt, not eliminating it.

That's what income tax is, the government's way to pay back the interest on the money that it borrowed from the Fed. If we had a sound money system, that reflected the actual wealth of the nation and not the perceived wealth of a privately owned company, we'd be able to actually do something useful to fix the economy and things like income tax would become considerably less relevant. As it is, the federal reserve controls the entire US economy with two simple tools, inflation, and interest rates. So, naturally the government panders to them every chance they get, otherwise they'll make the money more expensive!

That's not really how the Federal Reserve System works. Also, the US economy is doing considerably better than most other developed nations right now. As evidence, note that the Fed raised interest rates in December for the first time in nine years, while virtually every other country's central banks continue to lower theirs. The European Central Bank, in fact, has had a negative benchmark rate for over a year now! The bank is actually in the position of charging depositors for holding their money. That's not a good sign in an economy.




Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #619 on: January 21, 2016, 11:51:48 PM »
There seems to be an inherent flaw in the 2 party system (aside from the complete and utter removal of actual 'choice'). And it's a flaw I've recognized since I was 5. They are polar opposites. What one president does, like Obama's executive actions on gun control (which I won't bother debating here) and his healthcare reform will just be repealed by the next republican in office. So much time, effort and resources go into undoing what the last guy did that we don't actually move forward as a country. We just keep running around in circles accomplishing nothing as we argue and bicker about bull crap that isn't even the government's place to deal with. Like gay marriage for instance.

That's because, quite simply, we are still dealing with the history of the United States as an institution that permitted and allowed the dehumanization of people when it declared at its founding that 'all men are created equal.'  Let me explain, if I can.  It might be a bit of a long road.  Starting with the present and moving backwards.

The 'polar opposites' came about as a result of opposition politics, which is basically defining who you are as a party by saying that you stand against all the stuff that the other guy represents.  Big government?  Small government.  Gun control?  Freedom to bear arms.  Free market?  Regulated industries.  First off, that is absolutely no way to organize a political body.  You are literally defining your agenda to be in opposition to the people across the aisle, when our form of government requires cooperation and compromise.

Now, for a long, long time in American politics, everyone had the same goals - economic success, liberty, insert principles here - where they differed was how they sought to make those ends a reality.  Same destination, different roads to get there.  That changed back in the 60s with the civil rights movement and the associated act (as well as the Voting Rights Act).  There was opposition, real REAL ugly opposition to the movement in the South, because of the foot-on-throat relationship the South enforced on blacks with stuff like the Jim Crow Laws and the KKK.  Keep in mind, it was only until recently within history that the Democrats were the conservative party - the one supported by the South, where the Republicans were the hated Party of Lincoln.

When LBJ came along and passed the Civil Right Act, he made a statement saying in effect that the move would cost the Democrats the South for a generation.  And he was quite right, as many, MANY voters in the South were single-issue voters, and that issue was segregation.  The Southern Democrats - also called the Dixiecrats - were basically cut adrift after that in the political sphere until 1972, when Nixon courted the displaced Democrats to help him win his re-election (which was then promptly torpedoed by Watergate), and thus created the famed Southern Strategy of conservative lore.  (In the 1968 election, the Deep South was actually carried by third-party candidate George Wallace, who is to date the most successful 3rd party seeker.)

That changed politics, because the Dixiecrats didn't stand for ANYTHING other than the right to punch down anyone who wasn't white.  They helped make the modern Republican party into what it is today, and we're now seeing the results of their toxic influence.  We are, quite simply, still dealing with the fact that some of the architects of modern politics (a good number who are dead and gone) were deeply entrenched racists.

The other thing I want to say here is that these days, the end goal of politics is not to solve American problems.  The goal of politics is to get re-elected.  We're looking today at a Congress which is more insular and separate from the street-level issues facing most Americans than before.  People join the DC political crowd and never LEAVE.  They go for six terms as a Senator and when they're done they retire or join a lobbying organization or a think-tank.  As a result, politicians don't have to deal with the fallout that comes after one of their atrociously bad decisions, because they haven't any skin in the game.  It's just easier for them to make sure their own little private corner is safe and then never leave it.

Marriage is, at is core, a religious ceremony. (the uniting of two souls in the eyes of god) And the constitution declares there MUST be a separation of church and state in order for there to be freedom of religion...to even have the president say ANYTHING AT ALL about it, short of universal recognition of all marriage, gay, straight or otherwise (like, to a lamp post or something), violates that tenant of the constitution.

I know gay marriage isn't really one of the hot topic issues being debated at the moment...but I'm just using it to prove my point. The candidates are always so eager to draw the public's attention toward social issues that aren't even part of their job just to distract from the real issues like the buying and selling of votes and legislation that goes on every day.

The one I usually go to when we're talking about this, because it's way less emotionally charged than gay marriage, is education.  Everybody talks a big game about solving the problems in education, but we're a dozen years into various new programs to try and address that, and we're STILL sliding down in the ranks.  Why?  For a handful of reasons.

1 - First off, there never WAS A problem.  All those international tests started back in the 1960s, with the first one ever having 13 nations (the US, China, and the Sovs) on that list.  You know where America was ranked in that list?  Dead.  Last.  We've NEVER had the number one spot in education - partly because we treat education differently from states like China and partly because...well, we're a melting pot and a lot of those countries aren't (China is 98% Chinese!  I don't think we're 98% anything).  Yet, despite that rating, the 1960s were a time when the US was at its most powerful.  We were one of the world's two superpowers...in a nation of supposedly 'dumb' people.

2 - We need to recognize that the intelligence measured in schools is NOT the sole standard of success.  Einstein failed math, crap like that.  For a country that insists that things are relative, that things like truth, reality, and other such concepts can be defined by the individual, and should not be defined by society as a whole, we REALLY haven't done that with success.  Success in the US means having a super job, making tons of money and owning lots of stuff.  Incredibly narrow definition, compared to the myriad forms of success that are possible.

3 - Poverty.  All the studies show that poor kids perform worse in school than rich kids.  Part of that is because rich parents can afford to send their students to private schools, which always draw talent, but a part of it is also that rich kids don't need to worry about eating.  They don't stay up wondering if the family is going to be kicked out of the apartment because Mom and Dad couldn't pay the rent in full this month.  A lot of anxiety comes with being poor, and kids aren't emotionally equipped to handle that.  But nobody wants to talk about making sure the working class has more disposable income, because greed (simply put).

4 - As finale, it could be argued the current political machine doesn't want to fix education, either.  Because it's a lot easier to convince folks to vote for you if they're dumb and uncritical in their thinking, rather than intelligent and able to spot bullshit from a mile away.  And remember, the goal of modern politics is to GET RE-ELECTED.

And you mentioned the economy as one of the issues that we need to fix. While I do agree whole heartedly, none of the presidential front runners are willing to even acknowledge WHY our economy is struggling as much as it is. The fact of the matter is, all the money that the US has, ALL OF IT, is borrowed from a privately owned bank (The Federal Reserve Bank to be exact) with interest. So simply for having money in circulation, the country is in debt that is inherently impossible to repay since the only way to get more money is to borrow it from the same bank that's holding the debt....well, I mean we could borrow money from china to pay it off, but that's like using one credit card to pay off another, foolish and unhelpful as it's just transferring the debt, not eliminating it.

The problem with the economy is a liquidity trap, caused by the transferrence of tax responsibility from the rich (who can afford it) onto the middle and working classes (who can't) and enforced by the childish tantrums of a bunch of avaricious sociopaths who'll destroy the economy if they don't get what they want, and what they want is even more money.  Because remember, in the US money is success, so the more money you have the more successful you are!

The top tax bracket is the lowest it's been since, I THINK, the Depression, and yet individuals and companies continue to post record profits, all the while whining about any attempt to fix tax burden issues.

I think it was Veks who said it on this site, but most people can afford what they need to live on, in a normal family of 4-5, with about $70k a year in earnings.  Anything above that is gravy.  You don't need to make $750,000 a year unless you have a family of triple-digit proportions.  To use (gasp!) a little math - let's say I have two people, one who makes $75k a year and the other who makes $750k.  Let's say I place a tax of 1/3rd - 33% - on each of those people.

The first's income is reduced to $50k, which isn't enough for a family to live on.  The second is reduced to $500k, which is STILL quite a lot of money.  I could tax the second man at a rate of 90%, and STILL leave that person $75k to live on.  Let's say that the guy doesn't want to pay so much in taxes, though, so he takes a pay cut and drops down to the highest available value of the NEXT bracket, which is taxed at 75% and has a cap of $500k.  After taxes, that man has $112.5k in income - despite the fact that he took a pay CUT, he actually has MORE money left to spend.

The simple matter is we need to stop letting the rich and corporations rob us blind and start working with the tax system again.  Because if they don't like having to pay so much in taxes, then they'll stop paying themselves so much.  And that extra leftover money will need to go somewhere.

Enforcing the liquidity trap, and keeping the working classes where they are, is the whole rationale behind the 'well, if you force us to pay our workers more, we'll just raise prices/hire fewer people' response.  It assumes, quite simply, that profits cannot go down, they must always go up - never mind that two companies, one who makes $10000 in profit and another who makes $1000000 in profit are BOTH successful.

Something major does need to happen...but what? And is it already too late? I mean, the corrupt and self serving system in place is never going to allow someone who actually acts in the interests of the constitution and the american people to make it to the white house. Because that would end the gravy train. It's very possible that things will reach a point where even a post like this, criticizing the government for it's obvious failings, is going to be classified as extremist and 'anti-american' when in reality criticizing the government is the most american thing you can possibly do...and thanks to good ol W. and his patriot act, the government has the power to imprison it's citizens indefinitely and without trial for 'terrorism' a term that they are free to define however they wish.

What to do, that I can't tell you.  Is it too late?  No, I don't think so.  Not yet.  Embers may be all that's left, but as long as they glow, there is always a chance.  That's why Bernie is so hugely popular - he's saying all the things that EVERYONE in the real world, outside the halls of Congress and the executive boardrooms, are thinking and KNOW need to be done.  And what's more, he believes in them, he is no politician out for himself.

As for freedom of speech?  That's already disappearing in the private world - look at stuff like trigger warnings and safe spaces and hate speech bans.  People are becoming more and more concerned with having their own experiences validated than with reality.  And what's worse, we're in this of our own design - the more I see this world, the more I believe in Lincoln's statement that if we are to be destroyed, then WE must be its author and executor.

Offline Ebb

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #620 on: January 22, 2016, 12:11:57 AM »
I think it was Veks who said it on this site, but most people can afford what they need to live on, in a normal family of 4-5, with about $70k a year in earnings.  Anything above that is gravy.  You don't need to make $750,000 a year unless you have a family of triple-digit proportions.  To use (gasp!) a little math - let's say I have two people, one who makes $75k a year and the other who makes $750k.  Let's say I place a tax of 1/3rd - 33% - on each of those people.

The first's income is reduced to $50k, which isn't enough for a family to live on.  The second is reduced to $500k, which is STILL quite a lot of money.  I could tax the second man at a rate of 90%, and STILL leave that person $75k to live on.  Let's say that the guy doesn't want to pay so much in taxes, though, so he takes a pay cut and drops down to the highest available value of the NEXT bracket, which is taxed at 75% and has a cap of $500k.  After taxes, that man has $112.5k in income - despite the fact that he took a pay CUT, he actually has MORE money left to spend.

I don't disagree with your main points, and that was an especially useful history lesson. However, this part is incorrect. In a progressive tax system, like the one we have in the US, you never end up making more money by lowering your income. In your example, with a tax bracket of 90% at the high end, that person would only pay 90% tax on the money they make between $500K and $750. They would still pay 75% on the money below $500K.

For 2015, the top income tax bracket in the US is 39.6%, which is payable on money earned over $413,201. (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.aspx). If someone was making $413,202 for some reason, they'd cough up 39.6 cents out of that last buck. But for the 413,200th dollar they'd only pay 35 cents back. (And for dollars number 1 through 9,225 they'd be able to keep 90 cents of each dollar they earn, just like the poor guy who's only making $9000 a year total.)

This is in contrast to a "flat tax", which really is just taking a fixed percentage of everyone's income. Flat taxes are less fair than progressive taxes for the very reasons you're pointing out -- because the guy at the bottom of the pile really needs those dollars, and every one is important. While the guy at the top has a much smaller marginal utility for each additional dollar.

Anyway, this doesn't really affect your main points.


Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #621 on: January 22, 2016, 12:19:55 AM »
I don't disagree with your main points, and that was an especially useful history lesson. However, this part is incorrect. In a progressive tax system, like the one we have in the US, you never end up making more money by lowering your income. In your example, with a tax bracket of 90% at the high end, that person would only pay 90% tax on the money they make between $500K and $750. They would still pay 75% on the money below $500K.

For 2015, the top income tax bracket in the US is 39.6%, which is payable on money earned over $413,201. (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.aspx). If someone was making $413,202 for some reason, they'd cough up 39.6 cents out of that last buck. But for the 413,200th dollar they'd only pay 35 cents back. (And for dollars number 1 through 9,225 they'd be able to keep 90 cents of each dollar they earn, just like the poor guy who's only making $9000 a year total.)

This is in contrast to a "flat tax", which really is just taking a fixed percentage of everyone's income. Flat taxes are less fair than progressive taxes for the very reasons you're pointing out -- because the guy at the bottom of the pile really needs those dollars, and every one is important. While the guy at the top has a much smaller marginal utility for each additional dollar.

Anyway, this doesn't really affect your main points.

Ah, thank you for the pointer on how taxes are handled.  I'll be sure to keep that in mind in the future when I discuss the present tax schema.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #622 on: January 22, 2016, 12:20:51 AM »

Offline Vekseid

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #623 on: January 22, 2016, 04:19:49 AM »
So the Republican field seems to be lining up to take down... Cruz. Not Trump. Cruz.

Meanwhile, Sanders just took the lead in Iowa in CNN's latest poll.

We shall see if it's a fluke soon enough.

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #624 on: January 22, 2016, 04:22:39 AM »
That's actually welcome news, both things, but it's good to see that the Republicans have their heads on straight for once.  They made the nightmare that is the Tea Party, demons like Ted Cruz who effectively control the Republican half of Congress and insist on having everything their way and only their way.

It's time they got exorcised.