Politics United States Presidential Election Thread

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Gold Knight

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Right now in the United States, American citizens are registering all over in order to be able to vote for the next President of the United States in 2008. The time's nearing. The election will take place on November 4, 2008, almost a year from now.

This is a huge event that has worldwide implications. It's no secret that the world doesn't quite like President Bush right now, and everybody everywhere seems to have something to say about what America should do.

So, I think the time's now right to start a thread that would concentrate on the Presidental candidates, as well as the issues, debates, events, and any interesting tidbits, leading up to the next election.

There's many things to talk about. Which Presidental candidate appeals to you the most? What issues are you most concerned about? What debates have impressed you the most lately? No one right now has any idea who will win the next election; the only sure thing is that President Bush won't have another term. (That's the American democracy at work for you.)

This thread can also be a commentary on current U.S. politics, but please keep the thread on topic by making your points relevant as far as addressing who the American public should choose for their next leader.

Rules:
Do not vent at other people; do not go on emotional rants; and be rational. Do not disrespect your fellow members' opinions by badmouthing or poohing them. This is a delicate matter that needs to be handled in a good conversational spirit. Please don't disappoint me, guys ^^

Presidental Candidates

Republicans

* Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas
* Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City
* Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas
* Duncan Hunter, U.S. Representative from California
* Alan Keyes, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
* John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona
* Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas
* Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts
* Tom Tancredo, U.S. Representative from Colorado
* Fred Thompson, Former U.S. Senator from Tennessee

Democrats

* Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware
* Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York and Former First Lady
* Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator from Connecticut
* John Edwards, Former U.S. Senator from North Carolina and 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate
* Mike Gravel, Former U.S. Senator from Alaska
* Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio
* Barack Obama , U.S. Senator from Illinois
* Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico and Former Secretary of Energy

There's also Third Party Presidental candidates and Independents - but too numerous to mention here. You can click on that link to find more about them, though, but it's unlikely that any of them will have a chance.

Finally, I cannot emphasize this enough.

If you are an AMERICAN of legal voting age, You owe it to YOURSELF and your country to find out about these candidates and VOTE for who you think is the BEST CHOICE. If you do not do anything, then you do not have the right to complain about whatever happens to you afterwards.

Okay, have fun discussing. Remember to keep it friendly.
 
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Leos~

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For anyone interested, USAToday has a pretty useful quiz that asks your opinion on a bunch of topics and then shows you which candidates you best match up with. And then in the end, it shows you an overall view of each of the candidate's positions on all of the questions.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/candidate-match-game.htm
Wow, that was a nice find! I must say I was surprised at how similar Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were in their views. I suppose it shouldn't be that much of a surprise given how they are both Democrats, but they did seem to have been taking little shots at each other in recent months (which is to be expected, I suppose).
 

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For anyone interested, USAToday has a pretty useful quiz that asks your opinion on a bunch of topics and then shows you which candidates you best match up with. And then in the end, it shows you an overall view of each of the candidate's positions on all of the questions.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/candidate-match-game.htm
Awesome find, kaylee! That helps with the issues part, I was trying to figure out a way to cover them all in the first post. That really makes things simpler. ^^

I wasn't surprised at all which candidates I matched up with, either, so I feel good that I've done my research, but it did make me think on a few issues that I hadn't thought about, as far as health care. ^^

EDIT: That poll doesn't quite cover all the issues though. There's also appointing Supreme Court judges, abortion, and a few other social programs... one of the candidates I matched up with, I actually don't agree with him on these points. Though I do agree with the No. 1 candidate I matched up with, who's my current choice right now xD

Also, I don't care about what the presidental candidates' done before as far as experience (Senate, Governor, military, etc.), I just vote for the person who believes in the same things I do, and he's firm about it.

Wow, that was a nice find! I must say I was surprised at how similar Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were in their views. I suppose it shouldn't be that much of a surprise given how they are both Democrats, but they did seem to have been taking little shots at each other in recent months (which is to be expected, I suppose).
The little shots are probably exactly because they are so similar in their beliefs - that makes it harder on voters who happen to agree wtih them both, but can't decide between them, so Hillary and Obama's trying to figure out ways to make themselves look better than the other. Well, ugly politics, but I suppose at least it helps us learn more about them both, too - the good and the bad.

Personally, I think Obama is a better choice than Hillary, I just trust him more, but at the same time, I have to say I'm a bit nervous about the possible backlash that having the first African-American President in U.S. history might cause. I wish I had more faith in the American public about that, but we're still only a few decades removed from when the KKK was running rampant in these parts.

Having the first female President probably wouldn't cause problems on that kind of scale, but again, I just don't trust her. I don't much like the Clintons at all.
 
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I took that quiz, and wow, it was pretty neat. A couple of the questions had two or three answers I agreed with (immigration and global warming) but I ended up identifying most with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joseph Biden. Which, I can't say is surprising since I have democratic tendencies ,oO Actually, the only people I DIDN'T match with were the republicans XD

My main issues are global warming and national healthcare. I've said my piece on global warming in The Hang Out Thread, but I'll say a bit more here, too. I think the government truly needs to start investing in alternate energy sources, as well as putting monetary fines on carbon emissions and pollution by companies and manufacturers.

As far as healthcare, we currently have a "fix-it-after-its-broken" system, instead of a "curative" system. Curative health systems are BY FAR cheaper, because there's less drastic surgeries and procedures and medications. America needs to transition to that kind of system. Also, health insurance is fucking ridiculous. it's expensive, and half the time it desn't even cover everything (or anything). Especially for large surgeries, which can cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Iraq war, well, I totally support our troops. I'm a military brat by nature; my father served for 30 years. So, naturally, I grew up in the military, in all it's oddities and nuances. I support them and what they do to the fullest, and understand how difficult is for both the coldiers and their families. However, I think it's time to pull out of there. Great, we got Saddam and killed the genocidal maniac. We didn't FIND any WMDs. We've tried to help Iraq set up a stable democracy, though, as far as I've seen, it's not exactly fantastic. I don't keep up with it all that well, but from what I can infer we aren't helping. It's time for us to at least set a date and start to move at least some troops out. Living in a military area, it really sucks, because I always hear "Lieutenant X from squadron @#(&( was killed in Iraq yesterday" or "A helicopter from a local base went down, killing all the people inside it." Especially when it's people I know.

Gay Marriage - I'm all for it. If two people love each other, why keep them from getting the benefits that straight people get? You don't choose who or how you love. Marriage is about a union of two people who love one another, and anyone who disagrees can kiss my liberal ass.

Immigration. Hrm. I'm semi-torn on this issue. no, I don't believe they're "stealing our jobs." That's absolutely stupid. However, I am against illegal immigration. It's not fair to immigrants from other countries who have to take tests and apply for visas and passports and get clearance to move here. For the ones who are already here, we can't exactly ship them across the boarder. I think we should give them some kind of amnesty, but they must apply for citizenship, learn English and adhere to all federal laws when obtaining citizenship. I don't think we should put a wall up on the boarder, per se, but beef up security maybe.

And yeah. I need to fill out a voter registration form, but meh, I'm lazy XD I'll definitely be voting next September~
 

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Healthcare - I agree on everything being too expensive right now. I went for the choice that I think we need to open up the health insurance market to greater competition and giving Americans more choices, there. That will result in cheaper procedures.

As for the Iraq War, I agree that it's a painstakingly long battle over there that doesn't seem to be resulting in a whole lot of success. I wish we hadn't quite gotten so involved as we did at this point in time, although we would definitely have had to go over there one day considering all the extremist radicals over there. But because we did, I do think we have to finish helping them establish at least a government that will not collapse right after we leave, and give them the means to be able to hold it together. If we just leave now, I think all the lives that have been lost during the battle will be in vain, more lives are put at risk (including even more soldiers in a future conflict), and we're basically saying that they can go on and commit all kinds of genocides in the Middle East again. Sure, Hussein's not in power anymore, but there's still tons of Husseins just waiting to take over. Not to mention that Iran is definitely one of America's and Israel's worst enemies right now, and we're going to have to have some sort of foothold in the Middle East in case of ever having to defend ourselves against them, besides Israel, which already gets enough grief from its neighbors, and Kuwait, which is far too small a country to be able to defend itself, as we found out in the Gulf War when we had to go to their rescue.

Gay marriage, I don't even think the government should have anything to do with that. It should be up to the states. There are plenty of people who don't agree with it, and plenty of people who do. I don't want there to be a widespread requirement or ban on it, either way, for that reason, and that way people can be happy on both fences, assuming they live in the right parts of the U.S.

And even though abortion wasn't part of the poll, I *also* don't think the government should have anything to do with abortion. That should be up to the individual mother; it's her own choice. The more the government gets involved, the worse things get, usually.

I'm totally against illegal immigration and they shouldn't be here right now. They are not supposed to be here. They got in illegally, and if we keep allowing that to happen, there will still be all kinds of opportunities for terrorists and anti-Americans to get in. Amnesty will say that there is a way for people to get in illegally and become citizens, so people will keep on trying. I'm not comfortable with that at all. We *have* to do a better job of keeping our borders secure one way or another.

Global warming, well you already know my feelings there - I think it's much ado about nothing right now. It's the issue I'm the least concerned about right now. Although I would love to see alternative energy sources, yes.

And just for the record, I matched up the best with Fred Thompson, who ironically is an ex-senator from my own state (and Law & Order actor, lol). I'm a Republican, so yeah, I was expecting that - and I already knew I agreed with Freddy almost to a T on all the issues.
 
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Well I would say is that the people I would most likely vote for are hilary clinton or joe biden. Since when i see them in the democratic debates they we're the ones that answered the questions that mattered to me.

The people that I have more fear in John McCain, Mike Gravel, and Bill Richardson. They have exreme views on certain issues that trouble me to have them as a president.

Of course I'm just talking since I am not registered to vote since I am only a permanent resident and not a citizen, but thoe would be my choices if I did vote.
 

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Well, other than amnesty, what other option is there? Shipping them back to Mexico would be insanely difficult, and it isn't exactly cost-effective. (though, I DO agree they shouldn't be there)

Abortion, while I don't exactly agree with it at this point in my life, I agree should be left up to the mother. But only in a certain way: before the third trimester, no partial birth abortions.

Iraq - The middle east will never be stable, at least not for the next 100 or so years. Most of them don't even want us involved, from what I can tell. A guy I know is in Iraq with the army and from what he's told me, the natives don't want Americans there. I understand that the radicals need to be dealt with, and that the bombings and murdering needs to stop, but we need to take care of our OWN country before we can even try to help others.
 

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Well I would say is that the people I would most likely vote for are hilary clinton or joe biden. Since when i see them in the democratic debates they we're the ones that answered the questions that mattered to me.

The people that I have more fear in John McCain, Mike Gravel, and Bill Richardson. They have exreme views on certain issues that trouble me to have them as a president.
I don't want McCain either, but I'm not sure it's for the same reasons that you don't, because I always saw him as almost more of a Democrat than Republican these days. Though yes, he is a proponent of the Iraq War, he's still almost Democratic in most of his views right now. XD Though it doesn't change the fact that he's actually one of the people I'd trust the most - he's a very remarkable guy, but he has odd views for a Republican right now.

I'll confess that I may be considered "extreme" myself. I am very far-right, and I believe that the government should stay the heck out of our affairs most of the time. I'm very Republican-like there.

Though I do owe some things to the Democrats in the past because I know they've helped me have a much easier time of it as a deaf person. Still doesn't mean I agree with them about a lot of things ^^;

Of course I'm just talking since I am not registered to vote since I am only a permanent resident and not a citizen, but thoe would be my choices if I did vote.
That doesn't matter, the more opinions we get, the better. I want to hear from the rest of the world as well. :)

Well, other than amnesty, what other option is there? Shipping them back to Mexico would be insanely difficult, and it isn't exactly cost-effective. (though, I DO agree they shouldn't be there)
We can afford it. We've had much more costly projects in the past. I would definitely pay more taxes for that cause - it's a worthy one. We shouldn't even be having to do this in the first place - Mexico should be the one paying for it all. It's their own citizens in the first place.

Abortion, while I don't exactly agree with it at this point in my life, I agree should be left up to the mother. But only in a certain way: before the third trimester, no partial birth abortions.
I'd go for that.

Iraq - The middle east will never be stable, at least not for the next 100 or so years. Most of them don't even want us involved, from what I can tell. A guy I know is in Iraq with the army and from what he's told me, the natives don't want Americans there. I understand that the radicals need to be dealt with, and that the bombings and murdering needs to stop, but we need to take care of our OWN country before we can even try to help others.
Of course the Arabs don't want us involved; we are an ally of Israel. And we ARE taking care of our country by staying over there. That's my opinion anyway.
 
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LadyHatake

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No, I mean that there's so any other things in our country that we need to take care of right now (poverty, healthcare suckage, etc) that we should be focusing more on that and not as much overseas. I KNOW that the middle east is a concern, but how can we set any kind of good example when we've got a load of problems over hear? There's so many things we DON'T hear about during politics, like human and drug trafficking, and crime.
 

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Government can't control local crime; the local authorities have to be responsible for that, and in extreme situations, the FBI (in cases of corruption). What the government needs to be concerned with is protection of the nation as a whole.

I'm not saying internal problems shouldn't be a priority, but I don't really see the need for the government to butt in there. They've already passed all the laws they can about making most of that illegal. That's all they are, law-makers. And anyway, you really don't want politicians to be too involved with what the police should be handling.
 
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Leos~

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On the topics of Gay Marriage I totally believe that should be up to the states, but with the Illegal Aliens I just don't see how we can concievably kick out 8 millioin people (that's the number I heard, correct me if I'm wrong) who do many of the menial day to day jobs, not to mention may have spouses/children. I agree that they shouldn't be here, but I think we should focus on stopping the incoming flow of illegal aliens and then work out deals with those who are already here.
Personally I would probably vote for either McCain, Obama, Clinton, or Huckabee. I'm as moderate as a person can possibly be, and personally don't care if a person is republican or democrat as long as their views match up with mine (as close as they can at least). If I was forced I would probably vote for Obama, but I will wait untill after the primary elections are over untill I really start narrowing down my vote.
On the issue of the Iraq war, I don't believe we should have ever gone in there. I was all for the war on Afghanistan, but the Iraq war seemed a step backwards to me. With that said though, now that we are there, I don't believe it wise to pull out immediately, but should start making the Iraqis take more controll of their country. I'm glad to see this topic picking up pace, and hope even more people drop by. This was a great idea Gold Knight!
 

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8 million illegals huh? When you put it that way, yeah, it does seem daunting. I don't mean to say I want another Trail of Tears or anything. But I still think we need to send most of them back at least, especially the most recently arrived. Also, any ones who still can't speak English. And I don't think any of them should get American citizenship rights for a very, very long time. We've still gotta to make it clear that there's a hard price to pay for people getting over here illegally, to discourage any more attempts. At least that's my feelings on it anyway - there are too many people right now, I've heard, who can't even speak English and expect American workers to still understand them! How are they even expected to survive in the first place here, even if we let them stay?

I think we did the right thing to go to Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein, at least, WMDs or no. You know, people got on Israel's back for destroying Iraq's nuclear plant at Osirak in 1981, saying that they shouldn't have gone in there. But Israel actually did us all a huge favor, 'cause Hussein - a madman in every sense of the word - would definitely have had nuclear bombs by now otherwise. He was determined to have nuclear weapons and he developed many, many chemical and biological weapons - nonconventional but deadly effective all the same. His efforts to build a nuclear weapon program actually had Iran developing their own, because they didn't want to have a rival neighbor that's too powerful for them. We can't do anything about Iran right now, but we could do something about Iraq. But I do wish we had concentrated on the Taliban first.

Thanks! Hope we get more participation here. :)
 

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I think we did the right thing to go to Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein, at least, WMDs or no. You know, people got on Israel's back for destroying Iraq's nuclear plant at Osirak in 1981, saying that they shouldn't have gone in there. But Israel actually did us all a huge favor, 'cause Hussein - a madman in every sense of the word - would definitely have had nuclear bombs by now otherwise. He was determined to have nuclear weapons and he developed many, many chemical and biological weapons - nonconventional but deadly effective all the same. His efforts to build a nuclear weapon program actually had Iran developing their own, because they didn't want to have a rival neighbor that's too powerful for them. We can't do anything about Iran right now, but we could do something about Iraq. But I do wish we had concentrated on the Taliban first.
The whole thing about Saddam Hussein is that he came to power because of america. America put him in power as a way to check Iran, who is now set to become a major contender in the middle east with it's main rival (Iraq) out of the picture. Furthermore the Taliban in Afghanistan gained a large majority of it's weapons and political strength from the U.S. when we supported them in their struggle against the U.S.S.R. Iraq had almost nothing at all to do with the attacks of 9/11, and the evidence we had to go in there on (WMD's) was very weak, and as such we had very VERY few allies in our "coalition". Our invasion of Iraq served only to further destablize the region, giving Iran an edge and turning Iraq into the second most unstable country (besides Sudan). As for Israel's attack on Iraq's nuclear plant in 1981, I think they did THEMSELVES a much larger favor than they did us, and don't blame them one bit for doing what they had to do.

EDIT: I would like some reference to the actual estimated number of illegal aliens, as I'm not so sure about 8 million. If I find anything I'll post it.

EDIT 2: Apparently the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) estimates that as of 2000 there were at least 7 million illegal immigrants, and by 2003 there were at least 8 million. I think it would be safe to assume that the number is even higher now.
 
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Well, I can't argue that America supported Iraq and the Taliban in wars against Iran and USSR respectively. But y'know, if you're saying we created the monsters, the very least we can do is correct our mistakes. We already corrected one as far as Hussein goes... Iraq was already a very chaotic area with somebody who turned out to be one of the most ruthless dictators in modern history. Of course, there's still the issue of having to keep it from happening again. And as the Taliban also turned against us, we're having to deal with them as well.

The thing is: "what do we do?" about all this. That's the present issue right now. Do we just let these monsters keep on rampaging, or do we have a much better sense of responsibility to the world than we used to in the past? Not to mention, if we don't do anything, these monsters will eventually find yet more ways to strike us where it hurts the most: home. They hate us right now. Iraq for falling in war debts to us and some tribes losing power while we help others; and Taliban, they don't like that we're Israeli allies, we have freedom, and pretty much they hate everything about us. Iran, they just plain want us dead. We're losing soldiers like crazy right now, but that's still far less than what we'd be losing otherwise if we weren't keeping them all on the run. Since 9/11 we haven't suffered any huge loss of citizens due to terrorist attacks, that's enough to tell me that we're doing the right thing for ourselves, too. Our soldiers are doing their best to protect us right now.

And at the same time they're trying to forge a better relationship between America and Iraq, though that does seem to not really having much success. Still, it's either us helping with a democratic government being established there, or Iran will eventually take over Iraq. I don't know if this will work at all. Maybe it's a hopeless case. But Rome wasn't built in a day either...

And sorry for the delay in answering, I wasn't online for most of the weekend. ^^;
 
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Leos~

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It's very true that you can't change the past and we really should look toward what we as a country will do in the future, I brought up those points in order to show just how much we've blundered in the middle east for the past 50 years, and I do believe the Iraq war was another huge mistake America has made, and have never at any point agreed with the Iraq War. With that said though, you are right that we can't change the past and have to decide where we will go from now, so I'll try to focus on that aspect. With Iraq's current status, I have little doubt that pulling out now would result in the current democratic government either collapsing, being overthrown/taken over, or regressing back to a form of dictatorship; with a good possibility that they are even MORE anti-american. Because of this I don't believe that we should pull out, but there's really no guarantee that staying there won't have such a result anyway (as, like I stated before, since we've gone in there it has become the second most unstable country besides Sudan :( )

In Afghanastan (which I DO believe we should have invaded) the problem we face is that the Taliban was forged in a guerrilla war just like they are in now, the only difference is that they were facing the U.S.S.R. and not the U.S. of A. This may be the reason they have actually managed to gain strength in their country during all this. Regardless of this, though, I do think we should stay in Afghanistan, as the Taliban is known to have strong ties with Al-Qaeda (considering Al-Qaeda started there) and also to Osama bin Laden (whom they gave safe haven to, along with members of his Al-Qaeda militia). I believe the capture of Osama bin Laden is much more important to our safety than the capture of Saddam Hussein was.

We're losing soldiers like crazy right now, but that's still far less than what we'd be losing otherwise if we weren't keeping them all on the run. Since 9/11 we haven't suffered any huge loss of citizens due to terrorist attacks, that's enough to tell me that we're doing the right thing for ourselves, too.
While we may not have lost any more people to terrorist attacks in our country's borders, our allies have. Furthermore, Iraq really didn't have much of anything to do with Al-Qaeda's planning, and execution, of 9/11. Actually, the majority of the people involved in the attack came from Saudi Arabia. With terrorists like Al-Qaeda there's really no one country they are based off of that you can attack and say "okay, that's our enemy." I feel as if us going over there doesn't necessarily stop them from coming to us if they so wanted (it is for this reason I strongly agreed with beefing up security at borders, ports, and airports), and also may have just incited attacks on our soldiers that may not have normally happened.

This is not to say that the War on Terror has been totally ineffective. The War on Terror has undeniably captured some high profile terrorists, but the question now may be how many future terrorists has it created for us in the future? And in order for that to be stopped I totally agree that we need to forge a better relationship between America and Iraq. I would like to see our next president doing things like building schools and raising teachers to teach the next generation that there's more to life than hate, among many other possibly less direct methods of education. As for democracy, I remain hesitant to think that it will last there at this time, for it seems neither wanted nor very effective. The people are not used to it, and as far as they are concerned things have gotten WORSE for them since the U.S. brought them "freedom and democracy"

I hope that wasn't too confusing, and also hope that nobody takes offense to any of this. I don't say any of this to "attack" anyone, and if it is taken as such I apologize.
 

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No, it wasn't confusing at all, and you make some very good points and strong arguments. It WAS bad timing, I agree, to invade Iraq when we did. We probably should have waited until Hussein made a few more mistakes that actually could have gotten more countries on our side. And I also agree that there needs to be far more emphasis on improving education overall, and I'm certainly going to vote for a President that I feel will at least remember to put some of the focus back on domestic issues.

I still think that we've just got to finish what we started until it's too obvious that nothing will come out of it, though. Or at least give it a chance to work. Bush did warn us from the beginning that it was going to be a slow process. Right now we ARE making some modest successes - according to reports, we did turn one of the most dangerous spots of Iraq into a stable area - and warlords are beginning to side with us - so I don't know, I'd like to be optimistic about the Iraq War as far as the benefits of eventually succeeding there far outweighing the losses we're experiencing right now. Don't get me wrong, I hate it every time I hear about some of our boys losing their lives over there, though. If we didn't have to deal with suicide bombers who believe they're going to have an orgy in heaven every time they kill an "infidel", this whole thing would be FAR less of a risk - especially with the kind of military force we have.

If it was only President Bush who was pushing for us to stay there, I would probably say to heck with it, get 'em out of there. I really don't put a lot of stock in what Bush himself believes in anymore. But there's still a lot of more capable Republicans (and even some Democrats) - and some of them a lot smarter than Bush - who also say that we can do some very good things by staying over there.

So... I guess it all depends on what the American public wants right now, and this is why everybody should vote. So vote, vote, vote!

I'll be honest, if the majority of the American public decides to be on the side of pulling our troops out of Iraq, I probably wouldn't be TOO sad about it, even though I don't think it's the best thing to do. I do want our boys out of there as soon as possible.
 
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Leos~

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Speaking of Bush, that brings up another point that I'd like to see adressed. Since Bush has come to office, we are now closer to a dictatorship than america has ever been before. With the passing of the two PATRIOT Acts, along with the phone tapping and other things he's passed, we have been having our bill of rights trampled on. I'd like to see someone working towards getting rid of these laws that tresspass on our rights. Another thing which has disgusted me is the sheer amount of corruption in Washington D.C. (all you have to do is watch the news, as there's some new scandal popping up every day). I don't have much time (ahhhh, college...) so I'll try to get back later :amuse
 

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Sometimes I wonder if it's really Bush though; sometimes he seems so dense to me as to actually be a figurehead for the rest of his government. But yeah, I hope to see some of these issues rectified.

I'm actually going to leave this thread for a while, I feel like I've talked too much already, and I think everybody knows where I stand anyway. Time for other people rather than me to share their own opinions, if they will. ^^
 

Toad Sage

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Yah, I couldn't agree more Leos that we are heading towards a dictatorship in America. Saddam Hussein himself ironically observed that his station as a dictator was being questioned by a man who was put into power by our country's legal system(Gore V. The US), rather than its electorate, before we invaded without an act of congress. In the last eight years President Bush has used his veto power only once, choosing rather to ammend laws through signing statements to both enjoy the benefits of writing a law that cannot contradict his policies and to avoid any public strutiny of his actions. This tradition of signing statements can be, and probably will be, carried out by the next president. Compare this to the 1990's supreme court ruling declaring line item vetoes as unconstitutional, where the majority opinion stated such practices could easily lead America into tyranny.

Or what about the recent troop escalation without congressional consent? Bush openly defied not only the majority of opinion in America, but also the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the will of the civic majority in congress by escalating troop levels. This practice also can now be adopted by future presidents, as the stare decisis clause establishes this as a precedent in our legal framework. You see, the scumbag trick they use is they regard any military action undertaken by the president as an exception to congress' war power by defining such actions as police actions. Technically speaking, the 11 billion a month we flush down the toilet on Iraq isn't even a war, it's a police action undertaken by the president. Can anyone say Generalissimo?

Or what about off session appointments of people like Alberto Gonzales or John Bolton? Kurt Godel, our last centuries pre-eminent logician, noted in his application for citizenship during the 30's how this practice could be used to establish a dicatorship in America when asked by the immigration judge if something similar to the situation in Germany at the time could ever occur in America. Now we have a president openly flaunting his ability to ignore the proper channels in our government with cheesy loopholes. The cynic in me somehows does not anticipate a coming president-republican or democrat-to be somehow disinclined to continue this tradition if it would benefit their overall objectives.

Last but not least, look at the Diebold situation. Right now as we vainly strut across the globe stomping on nations until they embrace western democracy, and carry on and on about freedom and the right to vote, when we're dealing with the same people at home who think it would be unwise FOR NO PUBLICALLY STATED REASON SO FAR to attach a paper audit to the voting machines forced on us as a result of Gore V. US. Why Oh why would you not want there to be a way for checking the accuracy of a voting machine if you're so into "freedom and democracy" that you're willing to spend billions of dollars a month to make sure a bunch of people that don't even want it, have it? If that is not just the most frightening kind of wink at the public saying, "you'll be in chains soon" then I don't know what is. Not to even mention problems in the 04 election where machines were being shipped with votes for certain candidates already in them or how a team at MIT who had their hands on the first wave of software we able to compel their undergraduate students to hack right through it and fix the imaginary election they had set up. Or what about how in Texas when the democratic congressional encumbent-who was expected to win without much fanfare-was defeated by a republican who had the exact same number of votes as three other winning republican candidates (coincidence, huh, the odds are, statistically speaking, about 1/10^89)? That is, until the results were overturned by the state judiciary after an investigation was conducted.

But who knows, maybe the republicans have the right idea by taking away all of our freedom and forcing us into squalor. How else will the major business interests of our country be able to compete in a world wide economic market if we can't match prices for labor with other dictatorship countries? Look at the way they're allowing immigrants to pour over our borders despite all their other nationalistic tendancies. Who do you think all that cheap labor benefits? The other major world powers right now are unfettered by such silly notions as human rights and "checks and balances," so in order to compete with them, I believe our government feels it necessary to obtain more control in order for its key constituents (i.e. the business community) to maintain its competetive edge. And as near as I can tell, the next election-republican or democrat-is not going to make a damn bit of difference in the eyes of these special interests that really are influencing policy.

With the way campaign financing goes right now it is practically a dellusion to think any politician is seriously working for your best interests. They have to raise at minimum 10K USD per day to even have a hope of competing in their next election. Indeed, with the way campain financing laws work right now, a politician spends 70% of the time they are in office fund raising for their next election. That too is another symptom of tyranny in my opinion, forced on us by our willful denial of the importance of this issue. In other words, we're only allowed right now to have politicians that de facto do not have time to perform the job they are elected to office to perform. You think I'm exaggerating? Most of the politicians who signed off on the patriot act claimed they were off fund raising (remember it was in 2002) for the next election when they had staffers overlook the legislation and report back to them with a rough outline of its contents. Now the government can have access, even to this website's contents, and detain you for saying something they regard as seditious without any habeaus corpus writ indefinitely.

All right, this is way too long and way too off topic. Just to tie it into the over all theme of the thread, I'll briefly say that I don't think any of the jokers running for office right now are really viable choices for leaders given the issues we are facing. The entire lot are a bunch of actors (literally in one case) pandering to an imaginary "middle voter." I used to think this was a good idea after watching the dems get their asses kicked for six years, but now that I've seen its results in the form of their complacency and inaction (that is, the do nothing democratic congress) I no longer hold to this ideal.
 
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