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Old 06-12-2007, 10:51 AM   #31
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Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Still, I guess I envy the fact that Canada and the UK have a Prime Minister's Questions period. There's something satisfying about a political system that provides a defined weekly opportunity for naysayers to berate the country's leader directly. It's the kind of intellectual sparring I wish dubya could have been a part of during the Iraq War.
Talk like that'll get you landed in Gitmo, son. And Dubya has enought trouble with written scripts. An English style Q&A would probably end in Dubya drowning in his own drool.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:25 AM   #32
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not totally sure how i developed politically, but i remember first starting to pay attention in 1992. i think when it comes to choosing candidates, i'm more attracted to people who seem to genuinely think and ponder and weigh the issues. one of the reasons why i find Bush so repulsive is that he's essentially the antithesis of everything i'd look for in a leader -- he's crass and quick and lazy and anti-intellectual. of course politics isn't an intellectual excercise -- it's about getting people to do what you want -- but the demonstration of a strong intellectual grasp of both sides of an issue strongly attracts me to a candidate, on the right or the left.

as it stands now, there's no possible way i could ever vote for a Republican for president. that could change, but the party has so aligned itself with rabidly anti-intellectual forces -- the Religious Right, mostly -- and forces that have stated that they are excited about my potential social death, that it doesn't matter how liberal Giuliani might be on social issues. the new influx of religion -- which in this country is Christianity -- into politics terrifies me to a great extent, because it is anti-intellectual, concerned with emotion and sentimentalism rather than logic and reason.

on a personal level, growing up, the biggest issues for me were the environment and a general sense that some things were deeply "unfair" to certain people. i think you see it replicated in every junior high school across the world. some kids are born into a life of ease and get everything they'd ever want and use that to taunt those less fortunate, and they walk around thinking they deserve it. the phrase, "so many people born on third base go through life thinking they hit a triple" was always very relevant to me. even though i was relatively quite fortunate in this regard, i always felt a kinship with those who seemed to be tortured by "the system," as it were. those who were bullied, who were ridiculed for having the wrong clothes, who had different interests, who were fat, had glasses, etc. i guess i always knew that, deep down, i was different, and i could be abused for my difference, though at the age of 12/13 it was far less obvious. so the kinship was also an expression of self-defense.

and in politics, while i can't quite say that the Democrats actually care about the little guy, i think i can definitively say that the Republicans actually don't care about the little guy. the sense of entitlement and assumed superiority -- that gets whitewashed with, "i deserve it/that's how capitalism works/i have no responsibility to the society that has given me everything" -- has always driven me crazy, and it seems to have come to a head with our current president. has anyone, ever, been given so much and been asked so little of in return?

i suppose the overriding narrative is having grown up with a strong sense of obligation. and the Republicans seem to feel that they have no obligation to anyone but themselves.

so i'm less of a Democrat and more of an anti-Republican, with a splash of social libertarianism thrown in.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:40 PM   #33
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I grew probably more conservative, partially because of my religious upbringing--my denomination is definitely conservative, and also because most of the people I grew up around tended to be more conservative. I remember liking Ronald Reagan a lot as a kid (but then how can you not like Ronald Reagan!).

I found myself moving more and more left as I grew older. My personal distaste for the Republican party came from what I felt was a kind of latent racsim in a lot of their positions. I saw that kind of undercurrent of racism with a lot of my friends growing up and I saw that same undercurrent in the G.O.P. I also saw the Right as the home of those who want to involve the church in governement (and I've always been STRONGLY against that--it's actually a big part of the traditional theology of my church, the dangers inherent in church/state mixing so I guess that's the roots of that).

For a long time I liked to style myself as an independent, but I've come to accept that most of my views tend to lean left so I'm okay with being viewed as a liberal.

I'm pretty disillusioned with the politicians in both parties right now. It seems like there's no one left who's willing to tell the truth or make the hard choices.

I pretty much agree with everything Irvine said. . .very similar outlook there.

One of the things I admire about this forum is that there's a much higher percentage of people who are actually thinking about the issues and thus are much harder to "safely" pigeonhole. Just when I think I've "figured out" where someone is coming from in FYM they'll surprise me with a view that doesn't toe the party line. I like that and I respect it.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:20 PM   #34
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I'm a liberal because of an experience I had when I was a child. A teacher passed around a picture of Simon Legree beating Uncle Tom to death. That was painful. I'm still a lefty but have a mind of my own.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:23 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I'm a liberal because of an experience I had when I was a child. A teacher passed around a picture of Simon Legree beating Uncle Tom to death. That was painful. I'm still a lefty but have a mind of my own.
That's too bad you base your entire political alignment off of that (slavery), which was hardly a Democrat vs. Republican issue.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #36
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which was hardly a Democrat vs. Republican issue.
She didn't say it was...
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:28 PM   #37
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Originally posted by 2861U2


That's too bad you base your entire political alignment off of that (slavery), which was hardly a Democrat vs. Republican issue.
If it were, the Republicans would be the 'good guys' because they were the antislavery party of Lincoln!
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:31 PM   #38
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And Lincoln's Republican party probably would not want any part of what the Republicans have turned into.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:45 PM   #39
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Originally posted by UberBeaver


Talk like that'll get you landed in Gitmo, son. And Dubya has enought trouble with written scripts. An English style Q&A would probably end in Dubya drowning in his own drool.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:54 PM   #40
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Originally posted by maycocksean
I remember liking Ronald Reagan a lot as a kid (but then how can you not like Ronald Reagan!).

I say start with his acting. Shouldn't take too long
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:11 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by Canadiens1160
Still, I guess I envy the fact that Canada and the UK have a Prime Minister's Questions period. There's something satisfying about a political system that provides a defined weekly opportunity for naysayers to berate the country's leader directly. It's the kind of intellectual sparring I wish dubya could have been a part of during the Iraq War.
I agree - it's the same in Australia obviously. The Prime Minister gets hammered, and I mean hammered daily by either the press or opposition in parliament (or both).

It, to me, is the most obvious thing lacking in the US system. It's particularly noticeable with a President like Bush who clearly absolutely hates anything other than repetitive, scripted soundbites of fluff.

And not just with Bush, but in general, I think it would change the way Americans vote, or the kind of person they would vote for. The criteria would change.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:58 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2861U2


That's too bad you base your entire political alignment off of that (slavery), which was hardly a Democrat vs. Republican issue.
It's too bad that in 3.5 odd years of reading this forum that you are unaware that verte is a very intelligent and well-read woman with views formed on adult perception. Sounds merely like verte was relaying a pivotal point for her in her conservative childhood environment. But you go on and believe what you will. It often feels better.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:33 PM   #43
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem


It's too bad that in 3.5 odd years of reading this forum
Not quite. There was about an 18-month period where I barely ever checked out this place. Regardless, I dont post enough (or care enough) to learn everybody's life stories and entire political views.

Quote:
you are unaware that verte is a very intelligent and well-read woman with views formed on adult perception.
Fine. Good for her. I'm sure she is a very knowledgable woman, and I wasn't attacking her intellect. I was only replying to her post which from solely reading it (and not knowing anything about verte) one could possibly jump to the conclusion that I did.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:53 PM   #44
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I dont post enough (or care enough) to learn everybody's life stories and entire political views.

Then don't make presumptions and reduce people down to one post.

Ask yourself what would Jesus do?
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:55 PM   #45
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Great thread topic; however, at the risk of being lecturesome, I wanted to reiterate the actual question being asked--some respondents seem to be replying by simply labeling themselves or offering a list of stances, which was not the question asked:
Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan

Why are you what you are, politically?

I mean, not what is it about your political philosophy that appeals to you, rather what is it about you that draws you to a particular political view.

I grew up in the majority-black, poorest region of the poorest state in the country and my parents arrived in this country as penniless refugees, so social welfare, education, racial justice, and immigration policy are all particularly important to me. I can't say I know, though, of any one political or economic ideology that I'd consider to supply all the 'right answers' on those issues, and while I am more likely to vote for Democrats than candidates of other parties, I've never once voted a straight-party ticket, and share Irvine's pessimism about whether voting with the so-called "little guy" in mind can ever amount to much more than a lesser-of-two-evils vote in this country.

I find it interesting that several of the twentysomething-ish Americans in here mentioned the environment as one of their earliest political priorities--while I'd consider it important to my voting behavior now, I really never thought about it until late in my college years, and don't recall having the impression that it was a key issue for many voters in general until around that time. But perhaps that's more a reflection of the region of the country I grew up in than my age.
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